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Ron & Jane Lerner Collection 














F. V. H A Y D E N, 




'> 1872. 





Chap. I. From Ogden, Utah, to Fort Hall, Idaho 13 

II. From Fort Hall, Idaho, to Fort Ellis, Montana 27 

m. Fort Ellis— Mystic Lake— Source of the Gallatix— Trail Creek— Crow Agexcy 

AND First CaSox— Exit of the Yellowstone 44 

IV. FirstCanon— Snowy Range— Emguaxt Peak— Bottler's Ranch— Second Canon- 
Devil's Slide— White Mountain— Hot Springs, etc 59 

V. The Grand Canon— Falls— Hot Springs— Yellowstoxe Lake 81 

VI. From Yellowstoxe Lake to the Geyser Basixs of Fire-Hole River and 


VII. From Hot Spring Camp, on Yellowstone Lake, up Pelican Creek and down 

East Fork, to Bottler's Ranch 130 

VIII. Fort Ellis— Three Forks— Jefferson Fork- Beaver Head Canox— Mediclse 

Lodge Creek 139 

IX. Fort Hall— Soda Springs— Bear River Valley— Bear Lake Valley— to 

EvANSTON, on Union Pacific Railroad 150 

X. The Yellowstone National Park, with a Map 162 

XI. Prelimlnary Report of Dr. A. C. Peale on Minerals, Rocks, Thermal 

Springs, etc., of the Expedition 165 


Chap. I. General Review : Geographical Features, Mountains, Forests, etc 210 

II. The Great Basin 227 

III/ Northern Part of Salt Lake Basin, and Snake River Plains 237 

IV. Montana Territory 24& 

V. Letters from Prof. G. N. Allen and Mr. Haskill, and Experiments in 

Cultivation on the Plains along the Line of the Kansas Pacific Rail- 
way. By R. S. Elliott 225> 


Fossil Flora. By Leo Lesquereux 283 

I. Enujleration and Description of the ' Fossil Plants, from the Specimens 

obtained in the Explorations of Dr. F. V. Hayden, 1870 and 1871 ^. 283 

n. Remarks on the Cretaceous Species described above 303 

m. Tertiary Flora of North America 304 

Ox the Geology and Paleoxtology of the Cretaceous Strata of Kaxsas. By E. D. 

Cope, A. M 318 

I. A Gexeral Sketch of the Ancient Life 318 

II. Geology 324 

III. Synopsis of the Fauna 327 

On the Vertebrate Fossils of the "Wahsatch Group. By E. D. Cope, A. M 350 

On the Fossil Vertebrates of the Early Tertiary Formation of Wyoming. By Prof. 

Joseph Leidy 353 

Prelimixary List of the Fossils collected by Dr. Haydex's Explorixg Expedition of 
1871, IN Utah and Wyoming Territories, with Descriptions of a Few New 
Spechjs. By F. B. Meek 373 


I. Notice of Some Worms collected during Prof. Haydex's Expedition to the 

Yellowstone River in the Summer of 1871. By Prof. Joseph Leidy 381 

II. Colkoptera. By George H. Horn, M. D 382 

III. Notices of the Hemiptera of the Western Territories of the United States, 


IV. Notes on the Saltatorial Orthoptera of the Rocky Mountain Regions. By 

Prof. Cyrus Thomas 423 

V. List of Species of Butterflies collected by Campbell Carrington and William 

B. Logan, of the Expeditiox, in 1871. By W. H, Edwards 466 

VI. Report ox the Recent Reptiles and Fishes of the Survey, collected by Campbell 

Carrington and CM. Dawes. By E. D. Cope, A. M 467 

vn. Catalogue of Plants. By Prof. Thomas C. Porter 477 

PART v.— METEOROLOGY. By J. W. Beaman 499 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


"No. Page. 

1. Bent quartzites near Ogclen 14 

2. Wedge of limestone, Ogden Canon 16 

3. Basalt tables, Snake Kiver basin 29 

4. Basalt floor 29 

5. Reddish feldspathic granite. Wild Cat Caflon 34 

6. Metamorpbic strata, Black-tail Deer Creek 35 

7. Weathered granite, Madison Canon „ 39 

8. Gneisic strata on Elk Creek 43 

9. Gneisic strata with trap 59 

10. Cinnabar Mountain 60 

11. Devil's Slide, 61 

12. White Mountain Hot Springs, Gardiner's Eiver, (chart) 64 

13. General view of overflow of Great Spring, Gardiner's River 66 

14. Liberty Cap 67 

15. Extinct oblong geysers 68 

16. Chimney, Gardiner's River 69 

17. Dead Chimney, Gardiner's River 69 

18. Bathing pools. White Mountain hot springs 70 

19. Grotto in the glen. White Mountain hot springs 71 

20. Old Hot Spring, limestones shelving off by frost, &c 71 

21. Ideal section White Mountain hot springs 73 

22. Basalt at Low Falls, on Gardiner's River 74 

23. Devil's Den, Tower Creek 78 

24. Great Canon and Lower Falls of Yellowstone 85 

25. Sulphur and Mud Springs, Crater Hills, (chart) 88 

S6. Sulphur and Mud Springs, Yellowstone River, (chart) 90 

27. Mud Caldron 91 

28. Grotto, Yellowstone River 92 

29. Giant's Caldron, Yellowstone River 93 

30. Mud Geyser 94 

31. Yellowstone Lake 95 

32. "The Anna" 96 

33. Traveling in the Yellowstone country 99 

34. Section of large spring, Yellowstone Lake 100 

35. Mud Puff, Yellowstone River 100 

36. Mud Pot, Lower Fire Hole basin 103 

37. Crater of Thud Geyser, Lower Fire Hole 105 

38. Fountain Geyser, Lower Fire Hole 106 

39. Mud Puff, Lower Fire Hole 107 

40. Overflow down ravine from Steady Geyser 108 

41. Architectural Fountain, Lower Geyser basin 100 

42. White Dome, Lower Geyser basin 110 

43. Steadv Geyser, Lower Fire Hole Ill 

44. Catfish Geyser 112 

45. Riverside Geyser, Upper Geyser basin 113 

46. Great Spring, Fire Hole River 115 

47. Grand Geyser 116 

48. Grand Geyser, Upper basin, Fire Hole River 117 

49. Crater Forms, Fire Hole basin 118 

50. The Bath Tub 118 

51. Punch Bowl No. 1 119 

52. Dental Cup 119 

53. Punch Bowl No. 2 120 

54. Fungiform silica 121 

55. Spongiform or cauliflower silica 121 

56. Pearly silica 122 

57. Spongiform or cauliflower silica 122 


No. Page. 

58. The Giant 123 

59. The Giantess 124 

CO. The Bee-Hive 125 

61. Still Hot Spring and Pyramid, Upper Geyser hasin 125 

62. Old Faithful, Upper Geyser basin 126 

63. Ideal section Upper Geyser basin 127 

64. Sections of coal-bed at Evanston, Utah 194 

Dibothrium Cordiceps 381 

Plate I. Orthoptera 

Plate II. Orthoptera 


White Mountain Hot Springs, Gardiner's Eiver 64 

Yellowstone Lake 101 

Lower Geyser basin, Fire Hole Eiver 104 

Upper Geyser basin. Fire Hole River 113 

Yellowstone National Park 162 


Washington, D. C, February 20, 1872. 

Sir : In accordance with your instructions, based upon the act of the 
Forty-first Congress, authorizing the continuation of the geological survey 
of the Territories of the United States, I have the honor to submit my 
fifth annual report of progress. 

As soon as the season was sufficiently far advanced to admit of explor- 
ations in the mountain districts, I dispatched ray i)rincipal assistant, 
Mr. James Stevenson, to Omaha and Cheyenne, to make the necessary 
preparations and secure the outfit. 

My party was organized as follows ; James Stevenson, managiug 
directory Henry W. Elliott, artist 5 Prof. Cyrus Thomas, agricultural statis- 
tician and entomologist 5 Anton Schonborn, chief topographer ; A. J. 
Smith, assistant j William H. Jackson, photographer ; George B. Dixon, 
assistant ; J. W. Beaman, meteorologist ; Prof. G. N. Allen, botanist ; 
Eobt. Adams, jr., assistant; Dr. A. C. Peale, mineralogist; Dr. C. S. 
Turnbull, physician ; Campbell Carrington, in charge of zoological collec- 
tions; William B. Logan, secretary; F. J. Huse, Chester M. Dawes, C. 
De V. Negley, and J. W. Duncan, general assistants. Mr. Thomas Mo- 
ran, a distinguished artist from Philadelphia, accompanied the party as 
guest, to secure studies of the remarkable scenery of the Yellowstone. 
In addition to the above, there were about fifteen men who acted as 
teamsters, laborers, cooks, or hunters. The greater portion of our out- 
fit was obtained of the United States quartermaster, Colonel C. A. Key- 
nolds, at Fort D. A. Eiissell, Wyoming Territory. Horses, mules, 
wagons, and all other equipments were i^laced on freight-cars and taken 
by rail to Ogden, Utah. Here our journey began. 

About June 1, leaving Ogden, we passed along the shore of Salt Lake to 
WillardCity, thence through the Wasatch Range to Cache Valley, thence 
up the valley to the divide, between the waters of the Salt Lake Basin and 
those of Snake Elver. A careful survey of the valley was made, and fre- 
quent trips into the mountains on either side were taken. We then 
descended Marsh Creek to the Snake Eiver Basin and Fort Hall. Here we 
rested for two days, to recruit our animals and make the necessary repairs, 
and then followed the stage-road to Virginia junction. We then left the 
stage-road to the westward, taking an old road, crossed Blacktail Deer 
Creek near its source, thence down Stinking Water to Virginia City. We 
then crossed the divide eastward to the Madison river, descended the valley 
about thirty miles, and crossed over the other divide to Fort Ellis, at the 
head of the Gallatin Valley. A narrow belt was thus surveyed, con- 



necting the Piicific Kailroad with the Yellowstone Basin, our principal 
field of operation. From Fort Ellis, we i>assed eastward over the divide, 
between the drainage of the Missouri and Yellowstone, to Bottler's 
Eanch. Here we established a permanent camp, leaving all our wagons 
and a portion of the party. A careful system of meteorological obser- 
vations was kept at this locality for six Aveeics. From Bottler's Eanch 
we proceeded up the valley of the Yellowstone, surveyed the remark- 
able hot springs on Gardiner's Eiver, the Grand Canon, Tower Falls, 
Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone, thence into the basin proper, 
prepared charts of all the Hot Sirring groups, which were very numer- 
ous, and continued up the river to the lake. We then commenced a syste- 
matic survey of the lake and its surroundings. Mr. Schonborn, with his 
assistant, made a careful survey of the lake and the mountains from the 
shore, and Messrs. Elliott and Carrington surveyed and sketched its 
shore-lines from the water in a boat. Careful soundings were also made, 
and the greatest depth was found to be three hundred feet. From the lake 
I proceeded, with Messrs. Schonborn, Peale, and Elliott to the Fire-Hole 
Valley, by way of East Fork of the Madison ; then ascended the Fire-Hole 
Yalley. We made careful charts of the Lower and Upper Geyser Basin, 
locating all the principal springs, and determining tbeir temperatures. 
We then returned over the mountains by way of the head of Fire-Hole 
Eiver, explored Madison Lake, Heart Lake, &c. After having completed 
our survey of the lake, we crossed over on to the headwaters of the East 
Fork by way of the valley of Pelican Creek, explored the East Fork to its 
junction with the main Yellowstone, and thence to Bottler's Eanch, which 
we reached on the 28th of August. From this place we passed down the 
Yellowstone, through the lower canon, to the mouth of Shield's Eiver, to 
connect our work with that of Col. Wm. F. Eaynolds, in 1860. From there 
we returned to Fort Ellis. From this point I desired to examine a belt 
southward to the Union Pacific Eailroad, that should connect, as far as 
possible, with the belt explored on our way up to Fort Ellis in June. 
yVe therefore passed down the Gallatin Yalley to the junction of the 
Three Forks, thence up the Jefferson Fork to the Beaver Head branch, 
then up the Beaver Head to Horse Plain Creek, up the latter creek to 
the main Eocky Mountain divide, thence across to the headwaters of 
the Medicine Lodge Creek into the Snake Eiver basin and Fort Hall. 
From Fort Hall we struck across the mountains between Black-Foot 
Creek and the source of the Port Neuf to Soda Springs, at the head of 
Bear Eiver; examined the Soda Spring district, and passed up the valley 
of Bear Eiver, by way of Bear Lake, to Evanston, on the Union Pacific 
Eailroad. At this point the party was disbanded, most of them re- 
turning to their homes. A portion of the month of October was occu- 
pied in reviewing i)oints of geological interest along the railroad. 

Extensive collections in geology, mineralogy, botany, and all depart- 
ments of natural history were made, some account of which is given in 
subsequent portions of this report. 



AlthoagU my party the past season was unusually large, involving 
increased labor and responsibility in A;s mauagement, I gladly bear testi. 
mony to the uniform zeal and interest of the -members in its success. 

My i^rincipal assistant, Mr. James Stevenson, labored with his usual 
efficiency and fidelity throughout the entire trip. In honor of his great 
services not only during the past season, but for over twelve years 
of unremitting toil as my assistant, oftentimes without pecuniary 
reward, and with little of the scientific recognition that usually comes 
to the original exi)lorer, I have desired that one of the principal islands 
of the lake and one of the noble peaks reflected in its clear waters should 
bear his name forever. 

Mr. Elliott labored with his usual zeal and efficiency, and, besides great 
numbersof sketches, he constructed sections of the entire routes traversed 
during the season. Assisted by Mr. Carriugton, he made the circuit of 
the lake in our little boat, and sketched the entire shore-line with care. 

Mr. William H. Jackson performed his duties with great zeal, and the 
results of his labors hav^e been and will continue to be of the highest 
value. During the season he obtained nearly 400 negatives of the 
remarkable scenery of the routes, as well as the caiion, falls, lakes, gey- 
sers, and hot springs of the Yellowstone Basin, and they have proved, 
since our return, of very great value in the preparation of the maps and 

Dr. C. S. TurnbuU acted as physician and general assistant, and by 
his great fidelity in the performance of his duties rendered himself a 
useful and valued member of the party. 

Mr. Campbell Carrington had charge of the zoological collections dur- 
ing the years 1870 and 1871, and jierformed his duties with great zeal 
and efficiency. His collections of fish and reptiles are quite complete. 
He was assisted by Messrs. Dawes, Logan, Xegley, and Duncan. 

The reports of Professor Thomas and Dr. Peale, which are herewith 
appended^ will speak for themselves. Prof. G. Allen acted as botan- 
ist with great success, as far as Fort Ellis, and was assisted by Mr. 
Robert Adams. After Prof. Allen's departure, Mr. Adams took charge 
of the botanical collections. The report of Prof. Porter will show the 
results of their labors in the field. 

The loss of my chief topographer, Mr. Anton Schonborn, whose death 
occurred at Omaha after he had returned from the trip, with the notes 
which he had taken with zeal and ability, seemed almost irreparable. 
On my arrival Washington I applied to Prof. J. E. Hilgard,the able 
assistant in charge of the United States Goa^st Survey Office, for aid in 
my extremity. With his usual sympathy and prompt action in all mat- 
ters peruiining to science, he at once placed Mr. Schonboru's field-notes 
into the hands of Mr. E. Hergesheimer, in charge of the engraving di- 
vision of th« Coast Survey, and the result has been that Mr. Herges- 
heimer has compiled and drawn a series of maps and charts of the sur- 
vey, whose beauty and accuracy attest his skill as a topographer. Prof. 



Eeuel Keith, of the Coast Survey, computed the observations for latitude 
and time. Mr. Beaman has been permitted to consult from time to time 
with Mr. Charles A. Schott, in the preparation of the meteorological 
report. I cannot too earnestly express my obligations to the officers of 
the Coast Survey for their aid and counsel. 

In all my previous reports 1 have acknowledged my obligations to 
the military authorities for favors of great value. Armed with orders 
from the honorable Secretary of War, General Belknap, upon the 
military posts of the West for such assistance as could be aftbrded 
without detriment to the service, my whole party was everywhere 
received with marked kindness and generosity. The outfit obtained 
from Colonel C. A. Eeynolds, of Fort D. A. Eussell, Wyoming 
Territory, was even greater and more complete than that of the pre- 
ceding year, and the aid which both himself and his subordinates 
cheerfully gave us, formed one of the most important elements of our 
success. An outfit so suitable for our purpose could not have been pur- 
chased in the country outside of the Quartermaster's Department, how- 
ever great our appropriation. We were also permitted to purchase 
commissary stores at cost with transportation included. The amount of 
time and money saved to the General Government, as well as the char- 
acter of the outfit, render these favors essential to the complete success 
of a party exploring the remote sections of the interior of our continent. 
We are also saved from extortionate demands that might be made on us 
in case of an emergency which may at any time occur. At Fort Ellis 
we were indebted more or less to all the officers of the post for courte- 
sies, but I beg to make special mention of Captain J. C. Ball, who was in 
command in the absence of Colonel Baker, on our arrival there. Cap- 
tain Ball at once gave us all the assistance that could be afforded by 
the post, and the benefit of his long experience in western life, in the 
completing of our equipments. On our return to Fort Ellis we were 
much aided by Captain L. C. Forsyth, quartermaster of the post. 
By orders of Generals Sheridan and Hancock, one company of the 
Second' Cavalry, under the command of Cai)tain Tyler and Lieu- 
tenant Grugan, was directed to escort the party, under the direc- 
tion of Colonel J. W. Barlow and Captain D. P. Heap, United 
States Engineer Corps, and the party under my charge. Captain 
Tyler and Lieutenant Grugan remained with us until we reached the 
Yellowstone Lake, when they were ordered to return to Fort Ellis, and 
Lieutenant G. C. Doane was directed to take their place. 1 wish here 
to thank Captain Tyler and Lieutenant Grugan for unvarying courtesy 
and a desire to advance the objects of our expedition in every way dur- 
ing their stay with us. Lieutenant poane reached us at our camp on 
the southwest shore of the lake, and from that period to the time of our 
return to Fort Ellis we received the benefit of his experience of the pre- 
vious year. 

From Captain J. E. Putnam and Lieutenant Wilson, of Fort Hall, my 


entire party were the recipients of all the assistance we needed or 
the post could supply. To my excellent friend, General H. A. Morrow, 
in command of Camp Douglas, Utah, 1 am indebted for many favors, 
not only as an officer of the Army, but as an earnest and successful stu- 
dent of geology, in the form of valuable specimens and much informa- 
tion. To the officers of the railroads and stage-lines my party was 
much indebted the i)ast season. To Mr. Bradley Barlow, and Gilmer and 
Salisbury, proprietors of the stage-routes in Idaho and Montana, our 
thanks are due for passes for two persons. 

I beg to call the special attention of the Department to the great 
generosity of the officers of the Union Pacific Eailroad, Hon. Thomas 
A. Scott, president, and General T. E. Sickels, superintendent, for free 
transportation for my entire party from Omaha to Ogden, and return. 
Mr. H. Brownson, general freight-agent of the Union Pacific Eailroad, 
ordered our freight to be carried at reduced rates. My thanks are also 
due to the officers of the Central Pacific Eailroad for free passes for 
several members of my party. 

It would not be possible to mention by name, all the kind friends in 
the West who showed my party valuable attentions. With scarcely an 
exception, we were received with great favor in every portion of the 
country. I would express my thanks to Hon. B. F. Potts, governor of 
Montana, Hon. H. L. Hosmer, Hon. J. Y. Lovell, of Virginia City, and 
many others. 

I wish also to express my obligations to the gentlemen connected 
with the press, who have never failed to recognize the importance of 
these surveys in the development of our western Territories. 

I desire to acknowledge the numerous favors and aid which have 
always been extended to myself and party in all our labors by 
Professors Henry and Baird, of the Smithsonian Institution, and to the 
Engineer Bureau of the Army, for the use of their valuable maps for 
several years past. 

To the editors of Scribner's Monthly, who have done and are continu- 
ing to do so much to spread a knowledge of the remarkable scener^^ and 
resources of the far West among the people, I am under obligations 
for the use of some of the finest wood-cuts illustrating this report. 

As far back as 1856, when the writer was connected with the explor- 
ing expedition to the Lower Yellowstone, under the command of Gen- 
eral G. K. Warren, of the United States Engineer Corps, it was the plan 
of that accomplished engineer and geographer to penetrate the unknown 
but marvelous region of the Yellowstone Basin. Wonderful tales, that 
had sharpened the curiosity of the whole party, were related by our guide, 
Mr. James Bridger. An expedition was planned by General Warren 
for the years 1859 and 1860, which contemplated the exploration of 
this region as the objective point j but he was superseded in command 
by Colonel Wm. F. Eaynolds, of the United States Engineer Corps. The 
writer was also connected with that expedition as geologist. Every 



effort was made by Colonel Eaynolds to cross the snow-covered sum- 
mits of the Wind Eiver Mountains, but without success. In the summer 
of 1869, a small party, under Messrs. Cook and Folsom, ascended the 
Valley of the Yellowstone, to the lake, and crossed over the divide 
into the Geyser Basin of the Madison. 

In the summer of 1870, a second party, under General Washburn, 
surveyor general of Montana, visited that country. Mr. N. P. Langford, 
a member of the party, gave, in the May and June numbers, 1871, of 
Scribner's Monthly, most glowing accounts of the marvelous wonders. 
These articles called the attention of the whole country to that remarka- 
ble region. Lieutenant G. C. Doane, Second Cavalry, United States 
Army, accompanied the party in command of a small escort, and made 
an official report of the trip to General Hancock, who forwarded it to 
the honorable Secretary of War, General Belknap, who at once trans- 
mitted it to Congress, with a request that it be printed. I desire to call 
the attention of the public to the remarkable report of this young officer, 
which he seems to have written under the inspiration of the wonder- 
ful physical phenomena around him. The report is a modest pamphlet 
of 40 pages, yet I venture to state as my opinion, that for graphic de- 
scription and thrilling interest it has not been surpassed by any official 
report made to our Government since the times of Lewis and Clarke. 

Colonel J. W. Barlow, United States Engineer Corps, on General 
Sheridan's staff, and Captain D. P. Heap, United States Engineer Corps, 
on General Hancock-s staff, made an exploration of the Yellowstone 
Basin during the past season, the results of which will doubtless soon 
be given to the public in an official form. A very interesting and in- 
structive abstract has already appeared in the Chicago Journal of 
January 13. 

In attaching names to the many mountain-peaks, new streams, and 
other geographical localities, the discovery of which falls to the pleas- 
ant lot of the explorer in the untrodden wilds of the West, I have fol- 
lowed the rigid law of priority, and given the one by which they have 
been generally known among the people of the country, whether whites 
or Indians ; but if, as is often the case, no suitable descriptive name 
can be secured from the surroundings, a personal one may then be 
attached, and the names of eminent men who have identified them- 
selves with the great cause, either in the fields of science or legislation, 
naturally rise first in the mind. ^ 

The wisdom of the policy of publishing for the people the immediate 
results of my surveys, in the form of annual reports, even though some- 
what crude, has received emphatic sanction by the great demand for 
them in past years and the general satisfaction they have given. I 
have, therefore, made them the receptacle of a mass of observations on 
the local geology of the routes which I cannot introduce into a more 
elaborate final report. The attempt, also, to give to these annual reports 
a somewhat popular as well as scientific cast has met with the cordial 



approval of the students of geology and natural history all over the 
country. I trust, therefore, that they may be continued from year to 
year, as long as the survey shall j-eceive the sanction of the Govern- 

The annual report will contain catalogues of species which will be 
useful in determining the geograj)hical distribution of plants and ani- 
mals in the West, the meteorological observations, and all the notes of 
a more practical character on the agricultural and mining resources, &c. 

The final reports will be in quarto form, and will contaiu only the new 
and little-known species of that region requiring detailed description 
and illustration, the general geology, with maps, sections, and other 

The type series of the collections in all departments are arranged in the 
museum of the Smithsonian Institution, according to act of Congress. 

The duplicate specimens are then separated into sets, and distributed 
to the various museums and institutions of learning in our country. 

I would respectfully call the attention of the Secretary to the names 
of men eminent in the scientific world, connected with the special arti- 
cles in my annual report of this year as well as that of last year. The 
investigations of such men as Leidy, Cope, Lesquereux, l!Tewberrry, Meek, 
Porter, Uhler, Horn, and Edwards, will give to these reports a lasting value 
for all time. These gentlemen have generously consented to become col- 
laborators for the final reports, and are now preparing memoirs on special 
branches, which will form solid and permanent contributions to knowl- 
edge. The obligations to these gentlemen are increased from the fact 
that the greater i^art of the work is a ^' labor of love," without any com- 
pensation from the Government. 

In conclusion, I beg permission to extend to the Secretary of the Inte- 
rior and to General B. R. Cowen, Assistant Secretary, my most grateful 
thanks for the generous facilities they have placed at my command, and 
for the kindly interest they have ever felt in the progress of the work. 
If tbese explorations in the far West shall tend to the honor of our 
country or to the increase of human knowledge, the main object will be 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


United States Geologist. 

Hon. C. Delano, 

Secretary of the Interior, 

P^RT I. 








Page 29, sixteenth line from the bottom, for "Hole in the Wall" read "Hole in the 

Page 64, twenty-fourth line from the top, for "estsary" read "estuary." 

Page 71, third line from the top, after "flow from" read "it." 

Page 72, thirty-first line from the top, for "150" read "1,500." 

Page 73, fifteenth line from the top, for "cleaving" read "dissolving." 




In ray previous reports I have endeavored to present such facts in re- 
gard to the geology of the country lying between Oinaha and Salt Lake 
as my time and opportunities have enabled me to secure. In a subse- 
quent chapter I shall pass this region again under review, adding such 
new matter as the investigations of the i^ast seasons have brought to 

In order that the results of the explorations of 1871 might be con- 
nected with tliose of preceding years, it was thought best to make Ogdeu 
the point of departure. The latitude and longitude of Salt Lake City 
are probably as well fixed as those of any point west of the Mississippi. 
The elevations taken along the line of the Pacific Railroad were as- 
sumed to be correct, and the geography as well as the geology of Salt 
Lake Valley were known in general terms. Our camp was located on a 
middle terrace one mile east of Ogden J unction, at an elevation above 
tide-water of 4,517 feet. Extending along the eastern side of the valley, 
viith a trend nearly north and south, is a lofty and picturesque range of 
mountains — the northern section of the Wahsatch Range. Far south- 
ward, beyond the southern end of the Great Salt Lake, these mountains 
seem to extend, apparently growing more lofty and more picturesque, a 
gigantic wall inclosing one of the most beautiful valleys in the West, 
From the terraces, which form a conspicuous feature along the base of 
these mountains, one can obtain a full view of the wonderful body of 
water which has given name and character to this region. I will not 
attempt here to describe the scenic beauty of this region 5 it has already 
been done many times 5 it must be seen by the traveler to be understood, 
and once impressed upon the mind it becomes a perpetual pleasure 

The discussion of the Post Pliocene deposits and other prominent geo- . 
logical features of this valley is reserved for a subsequent portion of 
this report. It is my i^urpose at this time simply to note the impres- 
sions obtained of the geological structure of the country from point to 
point in the journey northward from Ogden to the valley of the Yellow- 

The range of mountains w^iich form so conspicuous and attractive a 
feature along the eastern shore of the lake, and north from Ogden, is 
composed mostly of quartzites and limestones, which present excellent 
examples of stratification. Just in the rear of our camp there is an 
illustration in which a thousand feet or more of layers of quartzite, vary- 
ing from a few inches to several feet in thickness, are bent in the form of 
an arch (Fig. 1) as if the force had been applied from beneath, near the 
central portions, but that the sides or ends had lopped down for want of 
support. There are many examples of these peculiar features in this 
range, produced by local infiuences, but connected with the general 



forces that elevated the entire range. These mountains appear to the 
eye, in viewing them from the valley, as if they had been thrust up out 

of the plains. The 
sides are very abrupt, 
in many instances va- 
rying but little from a 
vertical. So far as I 
, could study them, 
north of Ogden they 
form a monoclinal, the 
eastern side shown in 
its full development, 
and all the rocks having 
a general dip to the 
east, or nearly so. The 
// abruptness or steep- 
ness of the west side 
toward the lake is un- 
doubtedly due to this 
fact, as the outcrop- 
ping edges of the strata 
are clearly shown on 
the side toward the 
lake, while to the east- 
ward the ridges of up- 
heaval extend for miles, 
gradually sloping to 
the plains. Whether 
the west portion was 
ever elevated or has 
been removed by ero- 
sion is not clearly re- 
vealed. This problem 
will be discussed at 
another time. Where 
the Weber Ki ver passes 
through the Wahsatch 
Mountains a nucleus of 
'J/ gneiss is exposed, but 
// in this portion of the 
range the granitic or 
gneissic rock is exposed 
only in a few localities, 
and then only to a lim- 
ited extent. These 
examples are suffi- 
cient to show that the 
quartzites, limestones, 
and other sedimentary 
rocks above rest upon 
what we have regarded 

mountain ranges. A 

few instances occur of 

as well-defined meta- 
morphic rocks similar 
to the nuclei of other 
gneous outbursts, like 

those in the southern extension of the Wahsatch Mountains, but very 



limited in extent. The lowest bed of quartzites resting upon the granit- 
oid rocks I have estimated to be 1,500 to 2,000 feet in thickness. It has 
a very brittle fracture, although so liard and compact, usually very fine, 
and, to the naked eye, without grain, but it is sometimes composed of 
an aggregate of water-worn pebbles, mostly quite small, or crystals of 
quartz. This lower bed has evidently been more or less changed by 
heat, and the external evidence of chauge grows fainter as we proceed 
up from the quartzites into the limestones, until all traces of it disappear. 
In regard to the age of these quartzites there is much obscurity. So far 
as my own investigations are concerned, I only know that they attained 
a great thickness — that they seem to form the lower portion of the shaly 
sedimentary rocks of this region. The discovery of the well-known 
Silurian coral, Holy sites catenularia, in the last bed of limestone, points, 
to a Silurian horizon. The texture of the rocks in these mountain 
ranges renders the discovery of fossils in great numbers and in a good 
state of preservation quite doubtful. We shall wait for the report of 
the more careful investigations under the direction of Mr. Clarence 
King. The Carboniferous group in this region is well defined by its fos- 
sils, and I have no doubt that the Silurian and Devonian are well repre- 
sented. It may be that all the lower quartzites should be embraced in 
the Silurian. If opportunity presents, I hope to discuss these obscure 
points more in detail in the closing chapter of this report. 

The same remarkable illustrations of mud-flats and shallow water 
deposits as occur in the quartzites of the Uintah Mountains are 
seen here. Some of the layers are closely crowded with rather coarse 
fucoidal stems or roots, suggesting the Devonian age. As is quite well 
shown on our maps, the ranges of mountains west of longitude 111^ 
have a trend nearly north and south, or i)erhaps, more accurately, west 
of north and east of south. Many of the little streams that empty into 
the lake pass through the Wahsatch Kange at right angles, or nearly 
so, thus forming the deep and picturesque caiions for which this basin 
is so remarkable. Cross-sections of the mountains are thus exposed, 
enabling the geologist to work out with considerable clearness the order 
of superposition of the beds ; though, with all these advantages, it is 
not always an easy task. Sometimes the strata are much crushed and 
folded, or concealed by recent deposits or debris. 

On the morning of June 4, I made an exploration up Ogden Canon, 
which forms an excellent example of the cross-sections referred to above. 
A fine creek about 30 feet vAde and 3 to 5 feet deep has cut a channel 
through the mountain and its ridges. The stream, as it comes out of 
the mountain on the west side, opens into a broad grassy valley, thickly 
settled by farmers, and joins the Weber Eiver about five miles dis- 
tant. Five miles from the entrance of the caiion to the eastward there 
is an expansion of the valley, with table-like terraces on the north side, 
on one of which a Mormon village is located. The terraces are 30 to 50 
feet above the bed of the creek. On the northeast side of this valley are 
hills 800 to 1,000 feet high, composed of arenaceous clays, with some 
beds of limestone, while east and southeast are numerous ridges of 
limestones with corals and other fossils, showing them to be of Car- 
boniferous age. The north and northeast sides of the hills are rounded 
and sloping, and covered with coarse bunch-grass and small bushes. 
The valley is full of springs and meadow-like areas. The scenery can 
hardly be surpassed in any country for wild, picturesque beauty. The 
character of the rocks in the order of superposition does not differ mate- 
rially from those exposed in the valley of the Weber Eiver, along the line 
of the Union Pacific Kailroad. There are the Tertiary beds of the Wah- 


satch group about the sources of Ogden Creek; then the low Jurassic 
ridges, inclining 10^ to 15^, gradually passing down into sandstones, 
quartzites,then arenaceousliraestones,changing gradually to pure massive 
limestones of Carboniferous age. As we pass down the canon from Ogden 
Valley, or, as it is named on our maps, Ogden Hole, we observe the 
Carboniferous limestones rising like high, nearly vertical, walls on either 
side, at first inclining about 8^, within ten miles dipping 20^ to 3(P, and 
1,500 to 2,000 feet in thickness. In these limestones are some remarkable 
illustrations of the folding of the strata, (Fig. 2.) In one locality there is a 

Fig. 2. 


group of strata, perfectly cross-sectioned by the stream, 300 feet long 
and 200 feet high at the thickest end, in the shape of a huge wedge. 
Underneath these limestones comes a yellowish-gray quartzite, which 
forms a portion of a ridge inclining 20^ to 25^. A small gulch inter- 
venes, and the next ridge runs up like a cone with a dip northeast 55^, 
and the strata are brought out remarkably clear, with a height of 1,500 
to 2,000 feet ; beneath the quartzite is another bed of brittle limestone 
of better quality than the other, of a bluish-gray color, passing down 
into a steel-gray. The coarse portion is quite slaty. It is this bed that 
furnishes the material for burning into lime. These limestones incline 
30^, and are about 1,500 feet in thickness. The next bed is composed 



of rusty-brown slaty clays 200 feet thick. Tlien succeeds a remarkable 
group of quartzite beds^ with unusual indications of shallow water 
deposition, inclining ITP. Tlie river cuts directly through the ridge, 
forming a canon 100 feet wide, with walls 500 feet high. The lower 
bed I have estimated at 2,000 feet in thickness, and it is mostly a close- 
grained compact quartzite, but sometimes it is an aggregate of small 
white masses of quartz and water- worn i:>el)bles. From underneath this 
bed are a few outcroppings of micaceous gneiss and reddish feldspathic 
granite, apparently inclining the same with the quartzites. 

There is another very interesting feature in this calion which connects 
it more immediately with the great valley to the west of the range. 
Toward the sources of Ogden Creek, and in the expansions of the 
valley, are quite thick deposits of a kind of drift of sands and clays, with 
the greatest abundance of loose, worn bowlders and pebbles. In the 
canon this drift material forms a massive, coarse conglomerate, and frag- 
ments now are found attacihed to the sides of the canon in a horizontal i)osi- 
tion. These conglomerates point to the time when the great fresh-water 
lake, at a comparatively modern period, filled the valley of Salt 
Lake high upon the flanks of the mountains, even covering the highest 

This subject will be discussed more fully in a subsequent portion 
of this report. 

On the morning of June 11, we left our camp near Ogden City 
and proceeded on our journey northward, camping the first night 
near the Hot Springs. This is a very interesting locality, and de- 
served a more careful study than we were able to give it. There is 
here a group of warm springs, forming, in the aggregate, a stream 3 
feet wide and G to 12 inches deep j the surface, for a space of 300 or 400 
yards in extent, is covered with a deposit of oxide of iron, so that it 
resembles a tan-yard in color. The temperature is 13G^. Tbey flow from 
beneath ajnountain called Hot Spring Mountain, which is about five 
miles lon^ and three wide, and is, I tliink, a remnant of the west part 
of the anticlinal of which the great range forms the eastern part. On 
either side of this fragment of a mountains the terraces are distinctly 
defined. The nucleus is composed of micaceons gneiss, with seams of 
white quartz running through it in every direction, and resting nj^on it 
with apparent conformity are the quartzites and limestones. The eleva- 
tion of the shore of the lake near the water-tank, not farfrom Hot Springs, 
is 4,191.4, while the highest point of this broken mountain to the east 
of it is 4,986.0, or about 800 feet above the lake. The w^ater of the warm 
springs is as clear as crystal, containing great quantities, of iron, and 
the supply is abundant, and as there are cold springs also in the vicin- 
ity, there is no reason why this locality should not at some future period 
become a noted place of resort for invalids. The medicinal qualities of 
the water must be excellent, and the climate is unsurpassed. 

Between WillardCity, and Brigham City the terraces are well defined, 
and the sides of the mountains, as the edges of the strata project 
toward the lake, present a remarkably rugged appearance. The 
limestones crop out here and there upon the quartzites without 
any regular dip. I sought earnestly for some unmistakable proof 
that this fragmentary mountain is a remnant of the wQst i^ortion of the 
anticlinal, and though I am convinced that it is so, yet the evidence was. 
not as clear as I coukl wish. The terraces, as weli as the sides of the 
mountains, are covered so thickly with a kind of local drift or a modern 
lake deposit that the underlying rocks are concealed. Kear Box Elder 
Caiion are two kinds of terraces, the usual lake terraces, of which there 
2 a s 


are two well-defined lines at least, and the river terraces, winch are con- 
fined to the streams and do not seein to have any direct connection with 
the former. These river terraces are so marked a feature in the landscape 
that they woidd not be overlooked by the traveler. The lowest plain 
valley opposite the cauon, near the water's edge, was found to be 4,344.8 
feet above the sea-level. First terrace, 4,083.8 feet; second terrace, 4,770.5; 
third terrace, 4,858.9. These terraces will show more clearly than any other 
evidence we have, the gradual decrease, step by step, of the waters of the 
ancient lake, and the operations of the little streams pouring into it from 
the mountains on either side. The amount of local drift that has been 
swept down through the gorges or c.inons and lodged at the opening is 
very great. At the immediate mouth of the canon the bowlders are quite 
large, varying in diameter from a few inches to several feet. As we travel 
westward toward the shore of the lake the bowlders diminish in size and 
quantity, and the finer sediments, as sands and marls, increase, showing 
a constant decrease in the power of the currents of the water after leav- 
ing the mouth of the canon. Ascending the Box Elder Oahon we find 
the sides almost vertical, rising to a height of 1,500 to 2,000 feet. The 
rocks are gneiss, quartzites, slates ; these quartzites again inclining 30^ 
to 70^. After i^assiug up the narrow gorge for about two miles in a 
straight line, with just room for the little stream, with the road 
with the lofty precipitous rugged walls on either side, we come 
out into an open park-like area, about three miles in extent from east 
to west and four miles from north to south, which forms a level i^lain 
about 000 feet above Salt Lake. On the east side of the park there is 
a great thickness of alternate layers of slaty shale and rusty-yellow quartz- 
ites, varying in thickness from one-fourth of an inch to twenty inches, 
inclining northeast at an angle of 45^, and one is an immense thickness 
of steel-blue limestone, which i)rojects up near the summit of the hills, 
in sharp, craggy i^innacles. In these limestones is an abundance of 
Syringopora^ Fenestella, Spirifer, Productiis, sufficient to show that they 
are ot' . Carboniferous age. Upon the surface of the layerst)f quartz- 
ites beneath are impressions of what appear to be sea- weeds in 
the greatest abundance, so that large masses of the rock, which is in 
many instances a sandstone, with a reddish tinge, look like the Medina 
sandstone of IsTew York, covered with the Arthrorophycus Harlcmi. 

In the park the river terraces are well defined, really constituting the 
arable land in the mountains. 

The little Danish Mormon village of Copenhagen is located on a terrace 
in this park. The farms of the settlers are in common, and are cultivated 
by irrigation with success. To show how much available land there is, we 
estimated it at twelve square miles, or over 7,000 acres. The park is 
surrounded by high mountains, which protect it from great extremes 
of temperature, and the elevation above the sea is 4,958 feet. The 
mountainous portions of Northern Utah are full of these beautiful park- 
like areas, which are most probably the remains of an ancient lake. The 
wells which have been dug by the settlers show a considerable amount 
of drift or bowlder deposit, with fine white or yellow marly sands and 
clays in regular layers, showing the deposit to be Post-Pliocene, and 
that the waters of the lake were comparatively quiet. The interesting 
features of this park are the large springs at the base of the high hills 
which surround it On the south side there is a spring of very imve 
cold water, flowing out from beneath limestone mountains, forming a 
stream of 10 feet wide and 1 foot deep, supplying water for irrigating a 
large part of the park. On the north side there is a spring about the 
same size as the others. Other springs occur often, so that this little 
park is intersected with small streams in every direction. 



From Mantua to Wellsville, iu Cache Valley, the surface of the coun- 
try on eitlier side of the road is very rugged. The rocks are mostly 
limestones. The road runs between two ridges of upheaval, or a mono- 
cliiial valley, with the bluish, cherty, brittle limestone rising up 1,500 to 
2,000 feet on the west side, inclining a little north of east at a very large 
angle, while on the east side the hills are more rounded, 800 to 1,000 
feet above the general level of the country, but dipping in the same di- 
rection. The range of mountains west of Wellsville must average 1,500 
teet in height; down the valley are one or two of the highest peaks — 
over 2,000 teet — which are covered with snow in midsummer. They are 
composed almost wholly of limestones and quartzites. To the eastward 
the ridges reach to an unknown distance, becoming lower and the strata 
inclining at a smaller angle. Instead of beds of massive limestone, there 
are alternations of arenaceous clays, limestones, and sandstones, .\ ielding 
more readily to atmospheric influences, and in consequence the hills are 
more rounded and covered with grass or small trees. I have estimated 
the entire thickness of the stratified rocks in this region at 10,000 feet, 
and it is with this mass that we have to deal at this time. This esti- 
mate does not include the Tertiary beds, either modern or ancient, which 
are nearly- always present in some form. 

Cache "Valley opens into Salt Lake Yalley by way of Bear River 
Bay, and one cannot doubt that the lake itself formerly extended 
all over Cache Yalley. The modern Tertiary or Pliocene deposits 
which cover the valley jut up against the mountains on all sides, 
with the terraces which are distinct, although not so strongly 
marked as in Salt Lake Yalley. Most of the building rocks at 
Wellsville are the soft sandstones of the modern deposits, which 
I have, in a former report, called the Salt Lake group. Compact, rusty 
brown quartzites enter into the wails of the houses to considerable ex- 
tent; but for sills, corners, chimne3^-tops, and other ornamental purposes, 
the whitish-gray and gray-brown sandstones are used, from the fact that 
they are very durable, and can be wrought into any desirable shape. 
These calcareous sandstones are horizontal, and underlie the plateaus or 
terraces in the valley. The quarry near Wellsville is not profitable, as 
the principal layer of rock is not more than 12 or 14 inches in thickness, 
and several feet of superficial gravel and marl have to be removed before 
the sandstone can be obtained. ]^ear Mendon the sandstone is much 
more compact, and occurs in several layers. It is quite white, and forms 
very beautiful walls. It varies much in texture, some of it very i)orous, 
but it is, for the most part, close-grained enough for durability. It is in 
some instances a perfect Oolite. At Logan the principal co-operative 
store, a large two-story building, is constructed of a rock from this group, 
which is made up of an aggregate of fresh- water and land shells of the 
genera Limnea, Pliysa, Vivipara^ Helix ^ &c., apparently identical with 
recent species. I was informed that this rock comes from the foot-hills 
of the mountains just west of Mendon. It is the ux)per layer, and is a 
light-brown calcareous sandstone. The shells are nearly all casts, the 
rock being so porous in texture that the calcareous shell is in most cases 
dissolved out. The ridge of elevation, or range of mountains, as it might 
more x)roperly be called, which forms the eastern wall of Cache Yalle}', 
breaks off suddenly near Mendon, and from thence northward it appears 
in detached portions and of far less magnitude. But the range or ridge 
v/hich walls in the east side is lofty and continuous. To gain some 
knowledge of its structure, I ascended Logan Canon about four miles in 
a straight line above its mouth. The cahon seems to be due partly to 
a fissure in the Carboniferous limestones and the erosion of the little 



stream tliat passes tliroug'li it. The strata appear to incline eacli wny 
from the gorge as a sort of axis. There is considerable irregularity in the 
height of the hills on either side of the canon, but they vary from 800 
to 2,000 feet. Some of the highest points have banks of snow all the 
year. The inclination of the strata of limestone varies from 8^ to 20^. 
The greatest dip is at the entrance of the gorge, and as we ascend, it 
diminishes until it is uniformly about 6° to 10°. One group of strata near 
the entrance of the canon is 35'^. Some fragments seem to liave broken 
off of the main ridges, and appear to incline west toward the valley, giv- 
ing to the section the appearance of an anticlinal. This caiion forms an 
extremely interesting cross-section of the Carboniferous limestones, and 
reveals their massiveness and enormous thickness. They cannot be 
less than 5,000 feet in thickness. The rock is quite hard, brittle, of a 
bluish gray color, and in some layers full of seams and cavities of cal- 
cite. A fine stream, about thirty yards wide and an average of 2 or 3 
feet in depth, rushes foaming down over the immense masses of rock 
which have fallen from the mountain-sides into its channel. The local 
drift is here a conspicuous feature also. It is composed of rounded 
bowlders, with clays and marls reaching a thickness of 100 to 150 feet 
in regular and horizontal strata, attached to the sides of the gorge, and 
showing that, however turbulent the waters, the materials were depos- 
ited in a lake. At the entrance of the canon are some remarkable ter- 
races, composed of sands, clays, marls, and rounded bowlders. The high 
limestone ridges which bound Cache Valley on the east extend far south 
of Logan, and immediately at the base are a number of prosperous Mor- 
mon towns, as Hiram, Paradise, and others. The trend is somewhat 
to the east of south, and is composed almost entirely of limestones of 
Carboniferous age. ITorth of Logan to Smithfield, a distance of about 
ten miles, the quartzites, with variegated sandstones and clays, appear 
beneath the limestones. Owing to the change in the character of the 
roc]i:y strata, the symmetry of the range is lost to some extent. The 
ranges of hills, or of mountains, as they might be called, which bound 
the west side of Cache Valley, seem to be composed of the same kind of 
rocks, limestones, and quartzites, for the most part, with |)artings 
of clay at times. This range separates the two valleys — Malade Valley 
from Cache Valley. I was not able to make a minute examination of 
the whole country, including Promontory Mountain, extending far 
northward, which is occupied by quartzites and limestones which are, 
probably, mostly of Carboniferous age. Trom Corinne to Monument 
Point, along the Central Pacific Kailroad, none but dark, slate-colored 
limestones can be seen. It would appear, therefore, that a large por- 
tion of Utah is made up of these nearly i)arallel ranges of mountains, 
trending nearly north and south, with intervening valleys of greater or 
less width, which, after their elevation, formed shore-lines for detached 
lakes or bays. So far as the evidence goes, it would appear that the 
last lake period of this portion of the West commenced in the Pliocene 
epoch and continued on up to the present time ; that the waters once 
filled all these valleys, so that they rested high upon the sides of the 
mountains, depositing the sediments of the Salt Lake group, gradually 
passing into the Post- Pliocene deposits which verge upon our j)resent 
period. It is quite possible that there have been oscillations of level in 
these modern lake-waters , but so far as the proofs go, this great inland 
lake may have continued quite uniform until the Terrace epoch, and 
that then the waters gradually receded to their present position. If 
these statements are true, and I believe they are, this country is in- 
vested with a charming interest to the geologist. 



The story of the changes which have occuiTcd in the ge(ilof?ical 
history of this great interior basin can, no doubt, be traced by uniting 
link to link the internal evidence of the rocky strata from the earliest 
period to the present time, and this work belongs to the province of the 
geologist. To contribute something toward the task of reconstructing the 
l)hysical geography of this country in past geological times is my i)rincipal 
object in writing out the geological features of our route in so great detail. 
Tiiere is so much similarity in the general structure of the country that I 
might express the more i)rominent points in few words, but this would fail 
to give definiteness to the Avork. At the risk of repetition, I shall present 
the principal facts observed during each day's travel in the order in which 
they were obtained. 

As we proceed northward the hills on the east side of the valley 
become more irregular and broken. Massive beds of the limestone 
can be seen as far as the eye can reach, capping the summits, and 
inclining from the valley eastward at various angles, but the lower 
hills in front are much rounded and covered with grass, showing the 
softer character of the underlying rocks. Clays, sands, and quartzites of 
various textures prevail. On the west side the nucleus of the mountains 
is undoubtedly the same ; but high up on the summits, as well as on the 
sides, are found the yellowish and whitish marls and sandstones of the 
later Tertiary or lake deposits, filling up, to some extent, the inequalities 
of the surface, and sometimes inclining, at a moderate angle, in the same 
direction with the older rocks beneath j with the latter, howe^ er, the 
former do not conform. This range of mountains, which continues unin- 
terruptedly nearly to Marsh Valley, on the west side of Eound Valley, 
rises 1,000 to 1,200 feet above the bed of Bear Eiver. The summits are 
covered with bowlders, mostly quartzites. The outline of this range is 
formed of an irregular series of cones, with a general dip to the east. 
The inclination is quite irregular, sometimes 10^, then GO^ or 70^. There 
is so much material of a soft nature that yields readily to atmospheric 
iutluences that the underlying harder strata are much concealed, so that I 
found it impossible to obtain a continuous section. The mountains on 
the west side from the crossing of Bear Eiver to Bridgeport present a 
very abrupt front toward the valley. Originally the quartzites, clays, 
and limestones were elevated so as to correspond with the ridges or 
hills on the east side, inclining in the same direction, but the outburst 
of igneous rocks has produced some changes in position since the elevation 
of the older rocks. The igneous rocks have the peculiar somber hue and 
abrai)tness of basalts, and, in this case, they would appear to have been 
thrown up under great pressure, so that they are exceedingly compact 
and massive on the surface, and even where the little streams have 
flowed down the sides, forming deep canons, the same close texture is 
shown. Wherever the sedimentary beds come in contact with these 
basalts, they are changed more or less. The clays are changed into 
bluish slates, the quartzites are more crystalline, and the limestones are 
more or less metamorphic, and exhibit a darker hue. They are also 
full of cavities, lined with quartz crystals, or calcite, and seams of 
quartz. In this range of hills or mountains, near Bridgeport, silver 
mines have been found. One lode has been discovered that yielded ore 
which is said to assay 875 per ton. It is not probable that this will 
ever be a successful mining district, and however rich the ore may be 
in localities, it will doubtless be found only in pockets, and not in 
regular lodes. The area is limited, and whatever ore there may be, it 
has i)robably been segregated in fissures or cavities by the action of the 
basalts on the contiguous quartzites. Originally the quartzites and lime- 



Rtones inclined at a high ang'le eastward, and gave to the west side of the 
range of hills a slope like the steep roof of a house, but the elevations 
of the basalts, which occur mostly on the east side, carried the strat- 
ified beds up toward the summit of the ridge in such a way that a sort 
of local synclinal was formed. The abruptness of the sides of this range 
of hills, and the dark color of the massive basalts, with the variegated 
color of the changed and unchanged rocks, which send the ridge-like 
cones up 1,000 to 1,200 feet above the valley, give a remarkably rugged, 
picturesque character to the scenery. The valley at the base is a meadow 
in the luxuriance of its vegetation. It is divided up into farming lands 
and meadows, and the numerous little streams which gash deeply the 
sides of the mountains and flow down the steep foot-hills can be easily 
guided all over the fertile valley. 

Tlie immediate valley of Bear Eiver, near the crossing, is somewhat 
interesting on account of the fine development of the lake deposit. It 
is here composed of clay, sand, and marl, yellow and rusty-drab color, 
and attains a thickness of 200 to 300 feet. The elevation of Bear 
Eiver Valley at the bridge is 4,542.5 feet, and the highest terrace on the 
east side 4^737.7 feet, and the highest on the west 4,779.3 feet. The 
immediate valley of Bear River may be said to have been worn out of 
the Pliocene or lake deposit. Looking southward along the eastern side 
of Cache Valley, the Tertiary beds can be distinctly seen, jutting up 
against the sides of the mountains, and literally filling up the low places 
in the range. Looking northward the same beds seem to jut up against 
the hills, but the river appears to cut narrow, gorge-like channels through 
several of the parallel ranges of hills or mountains. From time to time 
we find heavy beds of conglomerates resting upon the finer sediments 
of the lake deposit, the exact age of which is obscure, though probably 
formed just prior to the present order of things. 

Before leaving this beautiful valley we may say a word about its agri- 
cultural resources. It is about 7 miles wide, and 00 in length from 
uorth to south. It was a matter of great surprise to all my party to 
find these mountain valleys filled up with inhabitants, and the land 
under a high state of cultivation. In Cache Valley there are at least 
ten thousand people at this time industriously cultivating the soil, with 
all the appliances of comfort around them. Whenever this country 
escapes the ravages of the destructive grasshopper the crops are abun- 
dant. On either side of the valley great numbers of little streams, after 
cutting deep gorges into the mountains, flow down into the plains, and 
are guided by the farmer all over his lands. There is no cultivation 
without irrigation, and with it, crops of all kinds are most excellent. 
The average elevation is only between 4,000 and 5,000 feet. We leave 
the valley, on our journey by way of Eed Rock Pass, which is formed of 
a group of Carboniferous limestones, a portion of which have a reddish 
appearancein the distance, from the presence of oxide of iron. The small 
stream, which constitutes the drainage of the upper or north edge of the 
valley, has, at some points, cut a narrow channel through what may have 
been a sort of anticlinal fissure, for the strata of limestone incline each 
way from the opening or pass, 10^ to 20^. These masses of limestone all 
point to a period of great erosion, and are monuments to indicate the 
huge and extensive thickness of the limestone strata in this region. 
East Red Rock is 300 feet from summit to base. *The divide between the 
drainage of Bear River and that of Port Neuf, Avhich flows into Snake 
River, is 5,041.9 feet in elevation. From Red Rock Pass we travel down 
Marsh Valley, with high hills and some quite lofty peaks on either side, 
composed of the same quartzites and limestones that we have before 



noted. The valley is about ten miles wide and is entirely occupied w ith 
the Pliocene beds from side to side. The terraces underlaid by tins 
deposit are a marked feature, and rise 300 feet above the creek, the 
middle one 150 feet and the lowest 50 feet. The hills on the west side 
are lower and less rugged, rising 400 to 1,000 feet above the valley ; but 
on the east side they are more formidable, 1,500 to 1,800 feet in height. 
The surface outlines are quite rouiuled and smooth by weathering, so that 
the strata are not well denned. Marsh Valley, which is about live miles 
in length, is like a meadow covered with tall, thick grass. Soon after 
passing the divide, a small stream commences running northward toward 
the Port Neuf, and on either side arc wide, swampy, or springy belts, 
contributing springs at every step, and in a distance of ten miles it be- 
comes a good-sized river. The luxuriance of the vegetation is a marked 
feature. The entire channel was filled with several species of water- 
l)lants, Fotamogeton, Eammculus, Brascnia, Myrioiyhyllum^ and many 
others. As a necessary result, the fresh-water molluscous life was most 
abundant, Flanorhis, Limnca, Pliysa^ &c. 

About ten miles north of Carpenter's Station we come to the southern 
border of the great basaltic overflow in the valley of Port Neuf and Snake 
Eiver, for I am now convinced that this comparatively modern eruption 
of igneous material covered an immense area of country, and might be 
called the basin of a wide, extended lake of igneous material, of which 
the Snake- River Basin was the center. Whether the melted material 
flowed up the valleys of the streams that empty into the Snake Eiver, or 
issued from fissures extending up these valleys and overflowing them from 
side to side, it is diflicult to determine. The latter explanation is most 
probably the true one, judging from the uniformity in thickness and extent 
of this vast sheet of lava. The elevation of our camp on the south border 
of the lava basin in Port Keuf Valley is 4,025.5 feet,and thisseemsto have 
been the height to which it reached in its overflow. The little streams 
have cut new channels directly through thelavaflooring, and thus excellent 
sections of it may be studied. As a rule the streams flow along deep muddy 
channels, with boggy border and abrupt sides obstructing and even ren- 
dering the fording of them dangerous : and on either side, varying in dis- 
tance from a few yards to a half a mile, is a vertical wall of basalt, 
which, in the distance, has a partially columnar appearance. The basalt 
fractures into vertical masses thatrhave an obscure five or six sided form. 
Sometimes these walls are so steep and uniform for miles that they can- 
not be scaled, and some broken-down, eroded portion must be sought for 
before the traveler can escape from tlie marshy channel of the streams 
to the table-like plateau above. The lower portion of this lava floor is 
very compact and massive, but the top part is more or less vesicular. 
There is very little, if any, of the usual spongy lava; it is all very heavy, 
even though full of cavities. It effervesces freely, showing the presence 
of lime in considerable quantities. The illustrations of exfoliation are 
abundant everywhere. Sometimes quite thick beds show an exposed 
surface of rounded masses, decomposing in concentric layers as if it 
w^as an aggregation of large concretions. The disintegration of these 
igneous rocks is mostly accomplished through the process of exfoliation. 
The general appearance of this table-shaped belt of basalt contrasts 
strangely with the ranges of hills on either side. On the east side of the 
valley the foot-hills are quite irregular, high, and covered with drift. On 
the west side they slope rather gently down to the river, deeply cut 
here and there by ravines. The superficial deposits extend high up, 500 
feet or more above the bed of the river, lapping smoothly on the basis 
rocks. The white Pliocene sandstones are exposed at one locality not 



far below the toll-gate. The Port ISTeiif Eiver is full of little falls or 
rapids 3 to G feet high, where the water flows over the basaltic floor, add- 
ing much to the attractive beauty of the sceuery. Here and there we 
And outcroj)piugs of cherty and silicious limestones underlaid by shales. 
Isolated hills or ridges composed of these rocks are revealed by the river, 
sometimes extending partly across the valley, remnants left from former 
erosions. At the bend of Port Neuf a pretty little stream about 10 feet 
wide flows in from the northeast. On the west side the rusty-gray 
quartzites are well shown, inclining 55"^. In passing down the Port Neuf 
from tlie bend, we have the yellowish-gray quartzites just mentioned, 
then dull purplish quartzite, composed largely of an aggregate of quartz 
X)ebbles, then dark purplish drab slates. The latter seem to form the cen- 
tral portion of a local anticlinal. The reverse dip extends onl^^ a short 
distance, while the original dip, a little north of east, is restored, and 
this continues for five or six miles, the strata consisting of alternate beds 
.of quartzites, slates, limestones, &c., inclining 15^ to 50o. In this series 
are three beds of impure cherty limestones. The quartzites x:)ossess a 
great variety of texture and color, from a dirt}', rusty brown or rusty yel- 
low to a fine grayish quartz. The reddish or purpMsh quartzite is very 
thick, and forms most beautiful pudding-stones, very seldom a coarse 
conglomerate. At the lower end of Port Is euf Canon, just before it opens 
into the plain, there is a high ridge, rising 1,500 to 2,000 feet above the 
river, which seems to form the central mass of the general anticlinal, for 
the strata dip each way from it. This ridge, as it extends off far south- 
ward, shows the slopes or inclinations of the beds well. The Port Neuf, 
after making the bend near Eobber's Roost City, cuts a channel through 
the ridges nearly at right angles for five or six miles, exposing at least 
10,000 feet of quartzite. The ridges run quite regularly north and south, 
and the principal ones are very persistent, while connected with them 
are some fragmentary ones: The age of this vast series of stratified 
rocks is quite obscure, and may continue so. The limestones which con- 
tain the well-defined Carboniferous fossils mark a horizon which takes in 
a considerable thickness, but below this horizon there is a group of 
strata of variable thickness, as well as texture, that is not likely to reveal 
the proofs of its age. It is true that there is ample room for several times 
as great a thickness of strata in the Devonian and Silurian, and feven 
extending down into the sub-Silurian,* where, x^erhaps, some of the meta- 
morphic quartzites should be placed. In this report I shall merely state 
the facts as I have been able to observe them, and await the results of 
future explorations to clear up any obscurities. In this great country the 
formations are usually so widely extended geographically that the discov- 
ery of proofs of their age at any one locality may unravel the obscurities 
of years of labor. Limestones of undoubted Carboniferous age occur every- 
where, and, as a rule, cover the summits and flanks of the highest ranges 
of hills or mountains. In many instances the great thickness of these 
limestones and the slowness with which they yield to atmospheric in- 
fluences have prevented many of the ranges from being much rounded, 
and perhaps removed entirely. Over a great portion of Utah, extending 
northward into Idaho and Montana, the Carboniferous limestones form the 
great protecting covering to the mountain ranges. The erosion of the 
basalt in the Port Neuf Canon is a feature of some interest. Sometimes 
for miles it has been entirely removed ; then it will re-appear in full force. 
Remnants are sometimes seen on the sides of the canon, showing that the 
waters at a modern period have worn wide channels through. In some 
instances there are evidences of two great periods of outflow of melted 
material, forming horizontal belts, as it were. At one locality this fea- 



tare is well shown where the river has cut through the basalt, revealing 
150 feet ill thickness, with the floor or terraces ; the lower one is the im- 
mediate channel of the river, and the other forming distinct walls on 
either side, with an obscure columnar fracture. I am inclined to bebevo 
that there were at least two important periods of overflow of basalt all 
over this region, although in a geological sense they are connected to- 
gether. After leaving Port Neuf Canon we come out into the broad plains 
bordering on Snake lliver ; on either side, as we continue northward to 
Koss^s Fork, we find the hills of various heights and composed of a va- 
riety of quartzites, with some limestones. They are much rounded, and 
covered with a heavy deposit of debris or kind of drift, and the wdiitish 
and gray sandstones and the yellow and drab marl of the Pliocene fill 
up the irregularities of the surface, and sometimes incline at a small 
angle, as if they had participated in some of the later movements that 
elevated the country to its present position. Prom the stage station on 
lloss's Pork to the present location of Port Hall is about 10 miles. The 
valley is a beautiful one, and was originally called Warm Spring Valley, 
from some warm springs that form the sources of the little streams that 
How through it, but it has since received the patriotic name of Lincoln 
Valley. Among the lower ranges of hills that border the east side of 
the great Snake Elver basin, especially from Port Neuf Caiion north- 
ward, the Pliocene deposits are well shown, and lie beneath the basaltic 
floor. In the Port Neuf Canon this fact is illustrated by the wearing away 
of the cap or floor of basalt in a number of localities, but on the sides 
of the hills this is shown with equal clearness by the elevations of 
the basalt. The dip of the beds is not great, usually not more than 5^ or 
10°, and in all cases in the direction of the great basin. This would in- 
dicate that there had been a moderate elevation of the mountain ranges 
or a depression of the basin at a very modern date, even api^roaching very 
close to our present period. The eftiision of such a vast amount of igne- 
ous matter from the interior of tbe earth might suggest the possibility, 
or even probability, that the cause of the subsequent changes in the hills, 
around the borders, was either contemporaneous or subsequent to the 
effusion of the melted material. If the elevation began with the erup- \ 
tion, it certainly continued long after it ceased, inasmuch as the basalt 
is lifted up in thick beds, at the same angle with the underlying strata. 
Not only in the valley of the Port Keuf and Snake Eiver is the basalt 
found in conjunction with the lake deposits, but in numerous localities 
all over the Northwest, it seems to rest upon these Pliocene beds, readil^^ 
adapting itself by the form of the under surface to the irregularities of 
the surface of the lake deposits. 

A tew words in regard to the geological character of the hills border- 
ing Lincoln Valley, around Port Hall, may not be without interest in 
this connection. In ascending a small gorge-like valley east of the fort, 
where the waters have excavated a channel directly through the differ- 
ent beds, we have excellent opportunities for studying such of them as 
are developed in this region. There is a general dip to the strata that 
may be regarded as uniform and in one direction, but the local disturb- 
ances are, oftentimes, very complicated, and in many cases formations 
which are really well developed are entirely concealed over large areas, 
or simply crop out here and there over very restricted areas. The moun- 
tain ranges all over the West are full of canons and valleys, cuts or 
gashes, from the axes or central i)ortions to the plains. These vary so 
much in character, owing to the intensity of the erosive force, that some 
of them may penetrate the very core of the mountain, and cut through 
all the strata on the sides into the plains, or it may be more or less shal- 



low, or SO liard, aud tlie strata so covered with grass or debris, that they 
elude the scrutiny of the geologist. By exploring with much care large 
numbere of these natural cuts, a very true conception of the geological 
structure of a mountain range may be obtained. It is usually quite 
difficult to measure the thickness of the beds ; indeed, it is impossible ; 
and we must therefore rel}^ upon a judicious estimate, aided by good 
barometrical observations. Neither are exact instrumental measure- 
ments of strata of gre-at importance in this country. Take, for example, 
the limestones of the Carboniferous age ; they vary in thickness in differ- 
ent localities, all the way from a few hundred feet to as many thousands, 
and yet they being sea- formed rocks, are supposed to tend toward uni- 
formity of thickness. In this narrow valley we find that the Pliocene 
beds which form the foot-hills of all the ranges of mountains surround- 
ing the great Snake-Elver Basin are also under the great basalt floor. 
These beds sometimes are found 400 or 500 feet above the level 
of the plains, and so conceal the underlying rocks, upon which they re- 
pose unconformably, that it is difficult to unravel their connections. 
Then there is a thickness of several hundred feet of grayish-brown lime- 
stones, more or less arenaceous, with intercalated layers of clay or lime- 
stone, and full of Jurassic fossils. Underneath is a group of sand- 
stones, varying in color from a dark to a light brick-red, resembling the 
sandstones so well shown in Weber Canon, and probably of the same 
age, but entirely destitute of organic remains. This group is 300 to 500 
feet thick, and inclines 15^ to 25^ j underlying the red sandstones are 
limestones, which are undoubtedly Carboniferous, and beneath them 
quartzites, sandstones, iiudding-stones, conglomerates, of unknown 
age. The groui) thus enumerated forms the mass or bulk of the regu- 
larly stratified rocks, composing the ranges around this great basin. 

Before closing this chapter, I may enumerate some of the elevations 
along our route, for the purpose of showing the relative heights of the 
hills surrounding the plains and valleys, as well as to indicate one of the 
important conditions for successful agriculture. There seems to be no 
want of fertility in the soil of our western i)lains, and when the two 
most important conditions are favorable, climate and moisture, or water 
for the })arposes of irrigation, then agriculture will be a success. How- 
ever abundant the water may be, either in the form of rain or in streams 
for irrigation, if the elevation is 7,000 feet and upward, the climate is 
liable to be too severe and uncertain for settlement. From barometrical 
observations along the route of travel we found that the elevation of our 
camp on Boss's Fork was 4,394 feet above the sea ; on the divide toward 
Fort Hall, 5,072 feet ; Fort Hall, 4,724. These figures will serve to indi- 
cate the general elevation of the plains and the immediate foot-hills, and 
they show that the climate need not be more unfavorable for agriculture 
than that of Salt Lake Valley, in which the Mormons have been so suc- 
cessful. How far the excessive dryness of the atmosphere may be an 
obstacle it is hardly i)ossible to decide. The past season was an 
unusually dry one. The difference between the wet and dry bulb in 
June on the Sn.ake Elver plains was 35^, which indicates an unusual 
freedom from moisture in the air. The broad bottoms in the immediate • 
vicinity of Snake Eiver are at a somewhat lower level, and can be made 
very productive; large quantities of hay are prepared every season. 
Inasmuch as an Indian reservation has been made on Eoss Fork, we 
may have some experiments in agriculture on these plains in a short 




We will not take our leave of Fort Hall witboiit a word of thanks to 
the officers of that post for their hospitable courtesy to us. We remained 
in this beautiful locality, a real oasis it might be called, two days, rest- 
ing our animals and laying in supplies and making repairs. Every 
facility that could possibly be provided for us, was granted by Captain 
J. E. Putnam, the officer in command, as well as by Lieutenant Wilson, 
commissary and quartermaster. The manner in which Captain Putnam 
extended the courtesies of the i)ost to all my party was even more 
grateful than the material afforded. The assistance we obtained here 
advanced pur explorations several days of time. Fort Hall is a small 
but exceedingly neat post, which was constructed by the officer at pres- 
ent in command about one year ago, and is located in a beautiful, fer- 
tile, grassy valley, among the foot-hills on the east side of the Snake 
River Basin, about forty miles east of the old Fort Hall. Numerous 
streams of pure water have been conveyed, by artificial channels, all 
through and around the grounds, so that, in the dry season, when the 
vegetation of the surrounding country is parched by the sun's rays, it is 
here as fresh and green as in spring-time. During the winter, the waters 
coming from Warm Springs, about two miles above the post, never 
freeze over, and the whole valley is protected from the cold winds by 
the surrounding hills, so that I do not hesitate to regard it as one of the 
most desirable spots in Idaho. 'No finer locality for a military post 
could have been selected in this region. 

In the afternoon of June 23, we left this pleasant resting-place and the 
kind hospitality of its officers with reluctance, and made our camp on 
Blackfoot Fork, about seven miles to the northward. This is a i^retty 
stream about 30 feet wide, and 6 to 8 feet deep, taking its rise near Soda 
Springs, and draining a large area. All through the valleys of the main 
stream and its branches, are the results of the basaltic overflow, and in 
its passage through the mountains it has carved out a deep canon 
through basalts, limestones, and quartzites. After leaving the moun- 
tains it flows across the plains with a swift current, about thirt}^ miles, 
over a floor of basalt, to the Snake River. From Fort Hall the road 
Avinds among low hills, underlaid by the light-gray marls and sands of 
the Pliocene, with some quite high ridges or hills of blown sand. In 
some instances the loose sand is so deep as to impede traveling. The 
bottoms of Blackfoot Creek are quite sandy, and the vast quantities of 
fresh-water shells scattered about formed a noticeable feature, and indi- 
cated an excess of molluscous life. 

On the morning of the 24th I followed up the south side of Blackfoot 
Creek to the mouth of the cailon. The lower hills are covered with 
igneous rocks. The higher ridges have a trend about northwest and 
south-east, and appear to form irregular anticlinals. Sometimes a cap of 
basalt will lap, roof-like, on to the ends of these ridges as they extend 
down to the plains. This bed of basalt inclines more or less, on the sides 
of the ridges, but gradually becomes horizontal in the plains. A careful 
examination of one of the ridges showed it to be composed of quartzites, 
inclining northeast at a high angle, with the external somber steel-gray 
hue that strata of all ages seem to have when affected by contact with 
the igneous rocks in their outflow. Over the quartzites, and conform- 
ing to them, are strata of Carboniferous limestones. At the point where 



the Blackfoot Greek emerges into the plains, the basaltic walls on either 
side are 50 to 60 feet high, and higher up the canon the channel passes 
through ridges of limestone and quartzite at right angles, 1,000 to 1,500 
feet above the plain. 

From Blackfoot Creek we traveled over a nearly dead level to 
Taylor's Bridge, the crossing of Snake River, eighteen miles dis- 
tant. Far distant to the west the three huttes can be distinctly seen, 
like isolated fragments of mountains in the plains still further to 
the west can be seen, on a clear day, the dim outlines of the Salmon 
River Ranges. To the east are a series of broken or irregular ranges, 
with low grassy foot-hills in front, usually rising 1,000 to 1,500 feet above 
the i)iains, but with here and there a high peak, 2,000 to 2,500 feet in 
height, covered with snow. That this basaltic outflow occurred at a time 
when this vast basin was occupied by the waters of a lake, I believe, from 
the fact that all the lower portion is exceedingly compact and heavy in its 
texture, and the surface, though sometimes full of cavities, must have 
cooled under a moderate pressure of water at least. After this basalt 
ceased to flow the lake continued on, so that a sui)erficial deposit of 
sand and fine volcanic dust, varying from 10 to 50 feet, covered the great 
basaltic cap. During the dry season of summer this volcanic dust be- 
comes a sort of impalpable powder, filling the air with clouds to such an 
extent as almost to suffocate man and beast. 

At Taylor's Bridge the waters of Snake River rush with great velocity 
through the narrow gorge-like channel which they have worn out of the 
basaltic floor. The walls on either side form excellent sections, and in 
the autumn, when the river is low, expose 100 feet or more of the basalt, 
with all the varieties of texture. These walls show an irregular columnar 
structure or jointage, and the decomposition or erosion is greatly aided 
by this condition. The different layers show clearly the diflerent periods 
of effusion, and in some instances the lowest portions indicate that, 
after the great mass had cooled and become solid, fluid basalt had been 
thrust ui>, showing a texture and color much like modern lava, only 
more compact. But the most interesting feature in this locality is the 
existence of numerous cavities, worn into the solid basalt, which are 
usually called '^pot-holes.'' These "pot-holes" occur by thousands on 
both sides of the river, for miles up and down, varying in diameter from 
a few inches to several feet. They are very distinct on the walls of the 
river channel, where the latter seem to have been split down from top to 
bottom. Many of them have in them, even at this time, the rounded 
masses, which by constant agitation of the waters have worn out the 
cavities. Some of these holes are 2 to 3 feet deep, although not more 
than 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The examples of degradation by exfolia- 
tion are finely exhibited here, so that the basalt itself would seem to 
have assumed aspheroidal shape in cooling, and is now falling in pieces 
by concentric layers. 

From Taylor's Bridge we traveled along the west side of the 
river to Market Lake, a distance of twenty miles. To the east of 
our camp, near the entrance of Henry's Fork, are two rather high 
flat-topped basaltic huttes^ which have the appearance of extinct 
craters. Their summits are 600 to 800 feet above the plains around 
them. The rim of the south hutte is much broken down. They were, 
undoubtedly, centers of effusion for the lava. Far in the distance, 
seventy or eighty miles a little south of east, the Tetons loom up 
grandly, with the form of shark's teeth. To the north of them, and 
quite distinctly visible, is Mount Madison, one of the finest peaks in the 
northern ranges of the Rocky Mountains. To the west of Market Lake 



are some moderately Iiigli basaltic ridges, the highest portion of which 
has received the name of Kettletop Butte. Market Lake is a kind of 
sink, probably produced by the spring overflow of Snake River, and is 
entirely dry the greater i)ortion of the year. 

On tlie morniug of June 26, 1 started eastward from Market Station 
toward the buttcs, near the bend of Snake Eiver. The road wound along 
low basaltic liiils, which really form a marked feature over a large portion 
of this basin. At the present time the surface is perfectly dry, but at 
some period in the past little streams circulated all over the surface, 
wearing out their valleys through Fig. 3. 

the basaltic crust, leaving portions 
like broad table-tops, (Fig. 3,) occu- 
pying a greater or less area. From 
beneath these fragments of the 
crust, the loose sands have been 
washed out all around, so that the 
overlapping edges have fallen 
down in every direction, from a 
common center in many instances, basalt tables, snake river basin. 

It would appear that these hills show that there were several periods 
of overflow of basalt, that beneath the sand is another floor, and upon 
this was deposited at the bottom of a lake a thickness of several feet 
of sand before the upper floor of basalt was formed. The northern por- 
tion of the basin is covered with thick beds of sand, into which the 
wheels of our wagons would sink 2 or 3 feet at times. On Camas Creek 
are some interesting sand dunes. On the northeast side are some 
conspicuous hills of blown sand, visible at a distance of twenty to forty 
miles, which indicate that the direction of the winds is from the south- 
west. Dry Creek, which in the spring season affords a channel for a large 
body of water, forms a canon in the basaltic floor, with walls 50 feet 
high. In midsummer there is no running water. On this creek there 
is a stage-station called Hole in the Wall," which derives its name 
from a remarkable cave in the basaltic rocks. About a mile west of the 
station there is a depression in the level plain 30 by 50 feet, where the 
rocks seem to have sunk, revealing on the north side quite a large 
opening. This opening or cave connects with others to an indefinite 
extent, under the great basalt floor. We examined several of these 
caves, which were connected together only by small openings in 
the partition walls, each with dimensions of 100 to 200 feet in width 
and length, and 30 to 50 feet deep. The bottoms of the caverns show un- 
mistakable evidence of having once formed a river-bed. The water still 
flows at times along the channel. Some person had dug a hole about 10 
feet deep, which showed the layers of deposition of sand and clay as per- 
fectly as along the banks of any of our little streams. We see by this 
illustration (Fig. 4) that underneath this basaltic crust streams of water 

Fig. 4. 

basalt floor, underlaid with pliocene BEbS. 

have worn in the past, and may be now, wearing out their channels toward 
Snake River, and that this may be only one of numerous examples in this 



great basin. Wc can also see how readily such rivers as Camas, Medicine 
Lodge, Godins, and many others disappear in the plains, and find their way, 
from ten to thirty miles, to Snake River, underneath this bas dtic floor. 

Before leaving this interesting region, I wish to add a few general re- 
marks in regard to what may be very properly called the Snake Eiv(^r 
Basin. There is here a broad, nearly level plain, from seventy-five to 
one hundred miles in width, and one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
miles in length, surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. This basin 
follows the course of Snake River, and is really an expansion of the val- 
ley; and it at first extends from the northeast to the southwest, 
bends around west, and then continues northwesterly toward Boise 
City. The mountains on either side form a series of more or less lofty 
ranges, some of the more prominent summits rising to a height of 10,000 
feet. These ranges appear to the eye, from any one point of view, to 
trend about north and south, but the trend of the aggregate ranges is 
i^lainly a little west of north and east of south. Between these ranges 
are valleys of greater or less breadth, varying from one to five miles in 
width, oftentimes of great beauty and fertility, through which wind 
some of the numerous branches which flow into Snake River. The great 
basin is entirely covered with a bed of basalt of quite modern date, (Fig. 
4,) and this basalt has set to a greater or less distance up the valleys of all 
these streams. It extends up the Port Neuf Valley twenty or thirty 
miles. Tlie American Falls are formed by the descent of Snake River 
over the basalt. I believ^e that this vast basin has been worn out of 
the mountain ranges by erosion ; that the three buttes and other frag- 
ments of ranges scattered over the plains serve as monuments in proof 
of this statement. This basin was also the bed of a lake which proba- 
bly originated during the Pliocene period. At any rate, I have been 
unable to discover in the immediate vicinity of this basin any Tertiary 
beds of older date than the Piiocene; and underneath the basaltic 
crust there is a considerable thickness of the deposit. The effusion of 
the basalt was one of the latest events, and must have merged well onto 
our present period. The average elevation above the sea is from 4,000 
to 5,500 feet. Our camp on the Blackfoot Fork was 4,324 feet, which 
was at least twenty miles above Snake Rivweast; and, inasmuch as the 
basin extends down Snake River, the valley below the American Falls, 
and near Boise City, cannot be over 4,000 feet, and may be less, while 
near the northern rim the elevation is 5,730 feet. From the great 
basin of Snake River we ascended the hills that form the northern rim 
over a divide 6,200 feet high, with hills on either side rising 1,200 to 
1,500 feet higher. All these hills are capped with beds of basalt, which 
incline southward toward the basin at various angles, from 5^ to 10^. 
AVhere the rocks can be seen they are plainly igneous, but as we ap- 
proach Pleasant Valley the hills are so covered with a drift deposit that 
it is seldom the underlying rocks can be seen. The surface here, for 
miles in extent, is made up of short, abrui)t hills, generally one main 
sharp ridge, with a great number of side ridges extending from it. 
These hills are covered over with grass. The rocks that are scattered 
thickly over the surface, and enter largely into the composition of these 
superficial deposits, are rounded bowlders of quartzites mostly. The 
distance from our camp on Dry Creek, in the Snake Basin, was sixteen 
and a half miles. The little stream that flows through Pleasant Valley 
emerges from a canon, which has nearly vertical walls of basalt, with 
an irregular bedding, but with jointage quite perfect, fracturing into 
columnar masses. A vast amount of debris has fallen down the sides of 
the walls and into the bed of the stream. Some of the rock is very 



compact in texture ; other portions rough, vesicnlar, much like the basalt 
in Snake Eiver Basin. 

On the morning of June 29, we left the beautiful valley behind us, and, 
traveling miles north, crossed the water divide" of the Ilocky Moun- 
tains. On the west side of the road, for ten or fifteen miles, the rounded, 
grass-covered hills prevailed, and over the surface,quartzite bo wklers, min- 
gled with some sandstones, were scattered thickly everywhere. In the sides 
of the ravines were numerous bare spots, which revealed a deposit of yel- 
lowish-brown sand. There is evidently a very extensive modern deposit 
all over the belt of country which forms what I will call the water di- 
vide — a belt from ten to twenty miles in width, in which the drainage 
gathers full force on the one side toward the Pacific, and on the other 
toward the Atlantic. The elevation along the " divide " is 0,480 feet. To 
the west is a range of mountains reaching up above the limit of vegeta- 
tion, among the snows. We measured one of the high limestone peaks 
and found it 9,704: feetj but there were several others still higher far- 
ther to the west, which must have been 10,000 feet high. These mount- 
ains are concealed high up around their sides with the drift deposit 
mentioned above, so that their examination is rendered quite difficult. 
The mountains, so far as we could examine them, seem to be composed 
of a great thickness of carboniferous limestones, capped with quartzite 
and quartzitic sandstones. The first range has four prominent cones, 
with several smaller ones, thewliole having a general trend about north 
and south, with an inclination to the west 25^. On the east side of the 
road were high, ridge-like hills, capped with basalt, all inclining to a 
moderate angle southward toward Snake liiver. Wherever any of the 
branches of Dry Creek cut through the grass-covered hills, or ridges, 
canons are formed with vertical basaltic walls. This igneous rock 
seems to be very homogeneous 'in composition, except that some por- 
tions may be more compact in texture than others. The surface of the 
whole country is exceedingly picturesque, diversified by lawn, terrace, 
ridge, and rounded hutte^ with most beautiful grassy ravines. Where 
the drift deposits are not too uniform and thick, we find exposed here 
and there outcroppings of a yellowish calcareous sandstone, which is 
probably of the age of the lignite beds of the West. No indications of 
coal were observed, but leaves of deciduous trees, like those found in 
the vicinity of the coal-beds in other xfiaces, were found here. These 
sandstones form long ridges, inclining east about 10°. The rock is more 
or less firm and compact ; some of it is a greenish quartzite. Here and 
there, on the summits of the ridges, are beds of basalt, showing igne- 
ous outflow at a modern date. Indeed these basaltic caps on the hills 
have presented many connected sections for examination which would 
otherwise have been obscure, and fragmentary from erosion. Far 
to the west may be seen range after range of mountains running 
nearly north and south; as they extend down into Snake Basin 
they seem to run out into the plain, so as to present an echelon appearance. 
The ranges, so far as we can see, are the eastern portions of some 
great central axis, which may be the Salmon Eiver Range. I have 
not been able to extend my observations so far west ; but the ridges, 
so far as I could examine them, of which there were a number ex- 
tending over a belt of fifty miles in width, appear to incline east- 
ward. The abruj)t sides of the west, the sloping sides on the east, 
the force as well as the material which have modified and given form to 
the surface, must have come from the west, inasmuch as on the western 
or abrupt sides of the mountains and hills there is the greatest accumu- 
lation of drift-bowlders. The loftiest portions of the ranges seem to have 



been elevated tlirougli the more modern formations. The high group 
of nioantaiu peaks to the southwest of Junction Station are composed 
mostly of Carboniferous limestones and quartzites. The series of rocks 
as exposed here may be arranged in asceuding order as follows : First. 
A series of reddish, yellow and brown calcareous shales. Secondly. Lime- 
stones, the upper portion of which is a coarse conglomerate, made up 
mostly of water-worn masses of limestones, with abundant fossils, Spi- 
rifer^ Productus^ Corals, Crinoid steins, with Athyris suhtilcta. Thirdly. 
Capping the mountain is a quartzose sandstone light-gray or weathering to 
a dark-brown, with a reddish tinge. In the valley of a little creek that 
cats the hills on the north side of the road near Junction Station, I en- 
deavored to ascertain the character of the formations as far as they were 
c^xposed. Commencing at the base, we find a yellow arenaceous clay, pass- 
in g up into a yellow^ sandstone, rather friable, sometimes quite fine-grained ; 
again a sort of pudding-stone or pebbly conglomerate. 50 to 100 feet 
above is a curious conglomerate made up mostly of water- worn masses 
of Carboniferous limestone, varying in size from the fraction of an inch 
to several inches in diameter. The thickness of the entire group of rock 
I estimate at from 1,500 to 2,000 feet. Still further to the northward 
are rounded grassy hills composed of softer beds with a reddish tinge, 
passing gradually into brick-red beds, which may be Jurassic or Triassic. 
lied Eock Valley is very beautiful to the eye. The stream is about 
twenty yards wide, with a narrow valley, north of the junction, but 
toward its source it expands out to a width of ten miles, forming a 
splendid upland meadow. This valley extends up tw^enty-five miles, 
with an average of ten miles in width. On the north side of this stream 
there is a high and quite picturesque ridge, comi^osed wholly of the red 
beds, with perhaps some gray Jurassic rocks on the summit. The dip is 
plainly northeast, and varies from 15^ to 30^. To>^rd the source of Ked 
Eock Creek, a high ridge on the south side of the valley reveals the rocks 
w^ell, inclining southeast 10° to 15°. This ridge seems to have 
been influenced by a distant range, which has raised the beds lower down 
on the creek. The limestones and thick group of beds above, extend 
ofl' in detached ridges, like steps, toward the river of Snake Basin. 
One of the most singular features of this region is the immense 
thickness of coarse conglomerate, apparentlj^ formhig a portion of the 
Carboniferous series. These conglomerates appear to be local, and occur 
nowhere else, so far as my observations have extended. In the high peak 
near Junction Station the beds are well shown from the oldest exposed 
in this region. The Carboniferous rocks lie at the base, and gradually 
I)ass up into the conglomerates, with no want of conformability. In this 
mountain an immense thickness of rock seems to have been lifted up 
vertically, so that at an elevation of 9,000 feet they are nearly horizontal, 
while on one side the beds lapped down so as to be nearly vertical. On 
the summits is a great thickness of quartzites. The conglomerates 
seem to have been formed of pre-existing Carboniferous limestones 
almost entirely. The cement is calcareous in some instances, itself a 
limestone of fine texture, and the masses of limestone and other rocks 
inclosed have been very much rolled in w^aters. How groat an area this 
conglomerate occupies I did not determine, but it is evidently not large, 
probably not over fifty or one hundred square miles. Far to the east- 
ward, seventy to eighty miles distant, the Tetons are distinctly visible. 
For a hundred and fifty miles west of these mountains are many ranges of 
hills, some of them rising to the dignity of lofty mountains, between 
1 0,000 and 11,000 feet above tlie sea, with no rocks older than Carbonif- 
erous exposed. For one hundred to one hundred and fifty miles along the 



Eocky Mountain " divide" tlie series of rocks exposed may be summed up 
as Carboniferous, Red beds, Jurassic probably, some Cretaceous, with 
patches here and there of Eocene, or Upper Cretaceous, containing im- 
pressions of deciduous leaves. Igneous rocks have also been thrust up 
through them all and spread over the summit. These have shared in 
the hiter movement to such an extent as to incline at moderate angles. 

About two miles below the Junction Station, on the south sideof Eed 
Eock Creek, there is a great exposure of the Carboniferous conglomerates, 
dipping 21° a little west of south. The creek here passes through a 
close uionoclinal interval for half a mile, and then opens out into Eock 
Creek Yalley, with two high ridges, with yellow and red beds (Jurassic) 
at their base. Eed Eock Creek forms one of the head branches of the 
Jefferson Fork of the Missouri, and rises in the "divide." It receives 
its name from the numerous exposures of the brick-red sandstones (Ju- 
rassic) and Cretaceous clays along the banks. Along the streams are ter- 
races more or less well defined, of various heights, showing the water-line. 
About five miles north of the Junction we find the Pliocene beds, filling 
up the valleys of the streams, sometimes reaching a thickness of several 
hundred feet. The greater portion of this deposit is a light-gray marl, 
with concretionary masses, and a sort of pudding-stone. In these con- 
cretions are often inclosed masses of the basalt, which occur here and 
there all over the country. While we have the evidence of a period of 
elfusion subsequent to the deposition of these lake-beds, from the fact 
that the basalt lies over them, we see by these inclosed masses, frequently, 
that there were other periods, either before or during the Pliocene. At one 
locality I found in these lake-deposits the fossil remains of a species of 
Anchithenm^ and a laud-snail, Helix. The inclination of these modern 
beds is west 5^. In passing over the divide from Eed Eock Creek to 
Black-tailed Deer Creek, and from the highest point, 7,044 feet, we could 
look back on a large extent of country drained by the different branches 
of these streams. 

This broad valley, like most of those in the west, was formed by ero- 
sion, and has been filled up with lakes, at the bottoms of which were de- 
])osited 500 to 1,000 feet of marls and sandy clays, during the later 
Tertiary period. Here and there, these deposits have been stripped 
away, showing remnants of old granite ridges, which either fill up the val- 
leys, through the walls of which the streams make their way, or they are 
exposed as remnants of larger ridges, which extended originally across 
the valley. Some of these modern beds have a light brick-red appear- 
ance, somewhat resembling the Jurassic group. Eeaching the drainage 
of Black-tailed Deer Creek, we find an immense development of the 
gneissic strata, inclining about west 30^ to 45^, and extending about eight 
miles. There are alternate beds of quartzites, true gneiss, mica schist, 
the quartzites largely predominating. There are also thick seams ol 
white quartz. Large portions of the area occupied by the metamorphic 
rocks are concealed by the outpouring of basalt. The metamorphic 
beds are here separated from the Pliocene deposits by a deep ravine or 
dry valley, the sides of the former having a regular slope, and indicate 
a sort of shore line for this lake. Here and there we find curious local 
anticlinals in the metamorphic strata, caused by the elevation during 
the efiusion of the basalt. On the west side of Wild Cat CaGon, through 
which the road passes to Black-tailed Deer Creek, the mountains rise 
to a height of 8,500 feet, and over a large area are groups of the harder 
feldspathic quartzites, which have resisted erosion, and now remain like 
old ruins, and present a very picturesque appearance. These quartzites, 
3 G S 


l)y the\r jointage and style of weathering, present some admirable rock 
studies, (Vig. 5.) 



and tliirty miles from east to west, underlaid by tlie Pliocene deposits-, 
inclining gently northwest, influenced probably by the Black-tailed Deer 

The country about these 
sources or branches of the Jef- 
ferson fork is very fine, and 
appears most attractive to the 
eye, with a fertile soil, excel- 
lent water, and well adapted for 
settlement, except that the win- 
ters must be very severe. The 
elevation of the vallevs is from 
6,000 to 7,000 feet, 'involving 
early and late frosts, and deep 
winter snows. About a mile be- 
fore Wild Cat Canon opens into 
the valley, the variegated por- 
phyries commence, a dull purj)- | 
lish color prevailing, though yel- { 
low and mottled are not un- [ 
common. The porphyries ap- ? 
pear to have been poured out I 
over the metamorphic rocks; I 
from the south side of the Black- - 
tailed Deer Valley they project I 
out from the hills in beds much I 
like basalt. The configuration i 
of the surface where the por- [ 
phyries prevail is quite pecu- t 
liar — sharp, rounded, conical ; 
peaks, with deei) ravines or I 
gorges. These peaks are all ] 
capped with the porphyries, s 
Immense quantities of the \ 
broken fragments or debris lie ; 
on the summits and sides of ; 
these hills. On the east side of \ 
the valley the Pliocene beds ; 
reach a thickness of 500 to 1,000 f 
feet, and are composed of pud- | 
ding-stones, yellow marls, gray : 
and white fine-grained sand- • 
stones, weathering into singular 
columnar and other architect- 
ural forms. All the rocks con- 
tain more or less lime. Both 
Black-tailed Deer and Stinking 
Water Creeks have their sources 
in a high range of limestone 
mountains, 9,000 to 10,000 feet 
above the sea level, the highest 
peaks rising at least 2,000 feet 
above the valleys of these 
streams, where they are crossed 
by the road. High up on the 
sides of these ridges, reaching 



nliuovst to the summitj are large quantities of drift material, and the 
Tertiary marls appear to have been elevated nearly as high. All the 
drift is local, as is usual in these mountain regions, and, by examining 
it with care, fragments of the diiierent kinds of rocks, brought to the 
surface in the \icinity, may be found. Of course the later Tertiary beds 
are made up of the eroded materials of rocks in the vicinity. Much of 
the sediment was derived from the Carboniferous limestones, and 
hence their marly character. The ai^parent inclination of these great 
limestone ridges or mountains is in every direction, when examined 
in detail, but the trend of the ranges is about northwest and southeast, 
and the aggregate inclination northeast, although some of the strata 
in the highest ridges incline north 60^ to 70^; another portion north- 
west 150. There is a somewhat peculiar feature about all the ridges 
since leaving the Eocky Mountain divide," and that is the evidence, 
from their external appearance, of comparatively recent elevation. 
The outcropping edges of the strata appear as if they had been 
lifted up, without any of the usual proofs of wearing away by atmo- 
spheric inlluences, and the debris on the sides and about the base would 
indicate that the elevation had been prolonged up to the present 
period. On the summits of these ridges, are great quantities of dead 
pine-trees, scattered around without a trace of any younger trees or 
shrubs to take their places. This is not an uncommon feature in many 
portions of the Eocky Mountains. May it not be possible that these 
mountain ridges are slowly rising at the x:>resent time ; that they have 
reached an elevation that does not admit of the conthiued existence 
of these pines, which evidentlj^ grew well under favorable conditions 
which seem now to have entirely passed away? On the north side 
of Black-tailed Beer Creek, there is another exposure of the gneissic 
rocks in a series of uplifted ridges, inclining about northeast, at angles 
varying from 30^ to 60^, (Fig. 6.) In the foreground are the modern ba- 
salts, with an irregular columnar structure underlaid with modern 
Pliocene deposits. It is a similar exposure, or, perhaps, a portion 
of the same exposure on the south side previously described, through 
which WddCat Canon passes to the valley. These exposures of the 
gneissic rocks seem to be local, and are doubtless due to the stripping 
off of the superincumbent formations. They undoubtedly form the 
basis rocks of the whole country. In the mining regions they are 
brought to the surface more frequently, and occupy much larger areas. 
The broad, beautiful valley of the Black-tailed Deer Creek is worn out 
of tbis belt of gneissic rocks, and grows broader until it expands out 
into the still wider valley of the Beaver-head Creek to the northwest, 
about twenty miles below our road. In these granitoid rocks there is 
the usual varietj^ of texture, some composed of an aggregate of crys- 
tals of feldspar, decomposing readily like sandstone; others with a 
schistose structure from their micaceous character ; others so hard as to 
resist the influences of the atmosphere — a kind of feldspathic quartzite in 
large angular blocks. Are not these remnants of old mountain-ranges 
that have resisted, to some extent, the powerful erosive influences that 
have been brought to bear upon them for many geological ages ? 

From the valley of Black-tailed Deer Creek w^e passed over the 
" divide" to the sources of the Stinking Water. Our cami) in the valley 
was 5,973 feet, but the elevation of the divide is 6,657 feet. On our way 
over we found here and there patches of basaltic rocks, fragments of the 
great crust that once covered all the modern deposits of the valleys. On 
the " divide," at the head of a canon that leads into the valley of Stink- 
ing Water, are some rather large exposures of the basalt, with a sort of 



bedding wbicli may be called shelving, or a splitting into layers of greater 
or less thickness, depending on the compactness of the material. Some- 
times the modern basalt caps the qiiartzites, of which we have several 
examples on our way to the main valley of the Stinking Water. Still 
farther down we find a branch of the Stinking Water called Sweet 
Water, cutting directly through a mass of variegated porphyries, like 
those in Wild Cat Cahon, forming the Sweet Water Canon. The great 
variety of colors which these rooks present, the height and abruptness 
of the walls, and the style of weathering on the summits, give to the 
scenery in this region a weird kind of grandeur and beauty. At the 
base of the walls is a vast quantity of debris, composed of the frag- 
ments of porphyry. The sides of the porphyritic walls show a regular 
bedding like strata, in layers from an inch to afoot or more in thickness. 
At the lower end of the caiion, the gneissic beds appear beneath the por- 
IDhyries, showing the character of their connection admirably. The 
former rest upon the upturned edges of the quartzites, as if they had been 
poured out in a fluid condition, filling up all the irregularities of the 

The geological character of this immediate region may be expressed 
simi)ly as very modern basalt, capping rocks of different ages, which 
may be in the vicinity of the poiiit of effusion. We then have a group 
of modern Tertiary beds, probably Pliocene, filling up the valleys and 
irregularities of the surface everywhere, except on the summits of the 
highest mountains. During the latter portion of the Tertiary age, the 
entire northwest seems to have been a fresh-water lake, with vast 
numbers of mountain elevations occupying a greater or less area, not 
unlike some of our inland lakes at the present time, on a small scale, 
with the more elevated points and mountain ranges rising above the 
surrounding v»' aters. These modern deposits have been elevated also to 
a certain extent, as there is in many instances an inclination of the 
strata from 1° to 5°. These cover the porphyries which were effused at 
a period far back in the past, subsequent to the deposition of the former 
rocks described, but how much further back into the past I found no 
evidence to determine. I have as yet been able to find the porphy- 
ries only in connection with the gneissic rocks. The forces which 
operated to lift the gneissic rocks must have acted long prior to those 
great elevatory movements which affected the sedimentary strata, and 
although the porphyries seemed to have flowed out over the gneiss 
since the strata have been elevated to their present position, it is noc 
possible for me to give the precise geological x>eriod when these events 
occurred. Usually either lower Silurian sandstone or Carboniferous 
limestone rests upon the metamorphic rocks. In a few instances the 
inclination of the Paleozoic beds above conform with the granite 
rocks below in such a way that I have been led to believe it possible 
that the dynamic movements that affected both groups were synchronous. 
But in most instances there is a greater or less want of conformity 
between the metamorphic rocks below and the sedimentary beds of 
any age that may rest upon them. The next group of rocks is com- 
posed of stratified gneiss of every possible texture and composition, 
from the most durable compact feldspathic quartzite to rotten micaceous 
schist, warped and folded in every way. After passing down the Sweet 
Water Canon about five miles, we come out into an open valley, or a 
sort of expansion. The porphyries, which were previously horizontal in 
their position, here show a dip of 20°, and about midway in the wall-like 
front there is an apparent division by a bed of volcanic sandstones about 



four feet in thickness. There were three periods of effusion : first, the 
outpouring of igneous matter over the granitoid rocks ; secondly, the de- 
position in water of about four feet of volcanic sediment j and thirdly, an 
eftusion of igneous matter again like the first. After leaving the canon, we • 
come out into an expansion of the valley, about ten miles in length and an 
average of two to four miles in width. This area is surrounded on all 
sides by ranges of mountains, but covered with a thickness of several 
hundred feet of modern Tertiary beds. As exposed along the channel of 
the streams we have at the base 50 to 80 feet of yellowish-white and creamy 
laminated marls; then 100 feet of cream-colored marly sandstone ; and 
overlying this an indefinite thickness of gray sandstone and puddiug-stone. 
These modern beds jut up against the rotten granites on the south side, 
inclining toward them about 3^. They seem to be entirely influenced 
by the ranges on the east and north sides. The weathering is of the 
same architectural character as the well-known bad lands.'^ As we 
leave the Sweet Water and come on to the Stinking Water, the bluffs 
of Tertiary are quite high, 80 to 100 feet, composed of alternate layers 
of sandstone and fine marl. The sandstone layers are quite hard, and 
in the process of weathering project like shelves, giving to the verti- 
cal bluffs a singularly rugged appearance. On the east side of the valley 
the range of mountains is the same as those about the sources of Black- 
tailed Deer Greek, and are composed of limestones and quartzites of Car- 
boniferous age. The inclination would show that this valley formed a lake 
basin, with the granites on the west side as a shore-line, and a monoclinal 
limestone ridge as the shore-line on the east. This valley is well 
watered, the soil is fertile, and the grazing excellent, and already most 
of it is occupied by farmers and stock-raisers. The elevation is 5,300 
to 5,400 feet, and inclosed, as it is, on all sides by mountains, must be 
protected from the extremes of cold. On the west side of the Stinking 
Water, just above the canon, is one of the largest springs thus far 
noticed on the route. It must have been in operation for ages, for there 
are beds of limestone 80 to 100 feet in thickness precipitated from the 
Avater. The water at this time issues out of a basin about 150 feet above 
the Stinking Water, and covers the sides of the hills with the sediment. 
The rock varies in texture from a compact white limestone to a soft spongy 
mass. A snow-white efflorescence — soda, perhaps — covers the surface 
in some places. The older deposits of this spring form the most beau- 
tiful white limestone, which would be most excellent for building purposes 
or for burning into lime. The beds dip west 10^ to 20^. This is a 
most remarkal3le deposit, though a local one. The basis or underlying 
rocks are quartzites and granites, inclining east 40^ to 50^. Overlying 
them, further down the stream, in the canon, are limestones with well- 
marked Carboniferous fossils. About five miles below the junction of 
the Sweet Water branch with the Stinking Water, the latter stream 
passes through a gorge or canon, and, as we descend the stream between 
the narrow, rugged walls, we have on the left or west side a group of 
quartzites of various textures, which had not been observed previously. 
They are composed of an aggregate of crystals of quartz, brown and rusty 
drab-brown color, inclining east at a high angle. On the right or east side 
are the overhanging projecting edges of beds of massive quartzite, rising 
800 to 1,000 feet above the bed of the creek. The streams here pass 
through a gorge between the ridges inclining in the same direction, which 
I have called a monoclinal interval. We here find exposed one of the 
remarkable series of quartzitic strata mentioned above, rising to the sum- 
mits of the east side of the canon, huge cubic blocks of which have fallen 
down and are strewed through the gorge. Underneath is an immense 



thickness of black micaceous gneiss, with seams of white quartz, the 
coarse feklspathic granites, literally an aggregate of large crystals 
of quartz and feldspar, then 
underneath the black gneiss 
again. In this canon there is 
a most interesting illustration 
of the weathering of the red- 
dish feklspathic granites by the 
peeling off in thin concentric 
layers, or as I have denominated 
it in my former reports, disin- 
tegration by exfoliation. I 
have never observed a more 
marked example anywhere in 
the West, and Fig. 7 shows it 
well. After passing through 
the canon a distance of about 
three miles, the road bends 
to the north, leaves the valley of Stiuking Water, passes over a 
high divide to Alder Gulch, in which Virginia City is located. On the 
right or east side of the road, the rather rounded and, in some instances, 
grass-covered hills, continue all the way. On the left or west side, the 
gneiss and quartzite continue for a short distance, when the mountain 
range, which has hitherto walled us in on the west side of the road, bends a 
little to the northwest, and extends to the Jefferson Valley, parallel with 
the Stinking Water, and rises quite abruptly, 2,000 feet above the channel 
of the stream. The base of this ridge or range is a smooth lawn-like slope, 
down to the margin of the stream, while the ridge itself is composed of 
massive beds of limestone inclining CO^ to 70^, the outcropping edges 
projecting sharply on the summits, and the northeast sides sloping down 
into the plain, like a very steep roof. The valley itself is a beautiful 
and fertile one, and is one of the numerous valleys that open into the 
Jefferson Fork. It will average from four to six miles in width and 
about twenty miles in length below the cahon, and is covered with a 
moderate thickness of the Pliocene deposits. On the east side of Stink- 
ing Water, the rocks are entirelj^ composed of gneiss, of the usual va- 
riety of texture and composition, the strata inclining southwest at 
various angles, so that the Stinking Water really flows through a 
synclinal valley from the canon to its junction with Jefferson Fork. In 
the valley and among the foot-hills of the mountains, are here and there 
patches or remnants of the great basaltic crust that must at one time 
have extended over most of the area occupied by the valleys. From the 
Stinking Water to Virginia City, a distance of about ten miles, the rocks 
observed were of metamorphic origin, with here and there indications of 
the effusion of basalt. 

Virginia City is located in the center of one of the richest mining dis- 
tricts of Montana, and a description of the surrounding country would 
apply, in most particulars, to all the mining portions of the Territory. 
The precious metals, as gold and silver, are found, so far as my ob- 
servations have extended, entirely in the metamorphic rocks which hold 
a position below all groups of strata that we have been in the habit of 
regarding as Paleozoic. Whether they belong to the series denominated 
in Canada the Huronian or Laurentian, we have no data to decide posi- 
tively ; but inasmuch as they are all clearly stratified rocks, they are plainly 
of sedimentary origin. These rocks underlie the entire country west of the 
Mississippi. We may safely assume this position whether they are vis- 

Fig. i4 




ible at the sarface or not. As a rule, they are separated into tliiu layers, 
with a great variety of texture, from the most uuyieldiiig quiirtzite to 
rotten gneiss. There are also distinct intercalated layers of clay or sand. 
Asa rule, these rocks become more massive as we descend; the softer 
beds of clay and sand cease, until we find nothing but massive beds, hun- 
dreds of feet in thickness, of homogeneous granite. All these rocks have 
suffered erosion to a greater or less degree — sometimes they are entirely 
swept away, down to the massive granites. It is in the series of meta- 
morphic strata, estimated to be several thousand feet in thickness, that 
the principal deposits of gold and silver, in the Territories of Montana 
and Colorado, are found. The altitude of these rocks depends, of course, 
on the forces that have operated in the past to elevate the ranges of 
mountains. At any rate, there is no uniformity any more than there is 
in the surface of the country at the present time. We know one thing, 
however, that as a rule the oldest of these granite rocks crown the loftiest 
of the mountain ranges. The relations which the well-marked, stratified 
granites sustain to the older and more massive granites is nowhere 
better shown than in the mining regions of Colorado, especially at 
Central City and Georgetown. 

In general terms, we speak of the geological structure of Montana as 
extremely simple ; and so it appears to be ; but when wrought out with 
the care that will be absolutely necessary to a truthful delineation of 
the details, it will be found to be exceedingly comxilicated. We maybe 
examining one of the mining districts, for example, and we may con- 
clude that only metamorphic strata will be found over the entire area 
occupied by the mines ; but perhaps, on a careful study of the details, we 
shall find everywhere scattered about patches of all the Paleozoic rocks 
known in the West, and quite possibly portions of the Mezozoic and Ceno- 
zoic also. In the valleys and gulches, upon the summits of the highest 
mountains, and in the most unexpected places, fragments of the Carbon- 
iferous limestones will be found. We may take the position therefore 
that the entire surface of the country has been at one time covered with 
a greater or less thickness of sedimentary rocks. It is possible, though not 
at all probable, that there are restricted areas in this portion of the West 
where no unchanged sedimentary deposits have ever existed, and it is pos- 
sible that over considerable areas no strata newer than Carboniferous may 
have been laid down. There is reason to believe, however, that the entire 
series of strata known in the northwest, above the metamorphic rocks, 
were originally deposited all over the Territory of Montana. We may 
conclude, therefore, that the erosive forces have operated with great 
power in the district around Virginia City, stripping bare to the meta- 
morphic beds, large areas. In the mining districts, in connection with 
these agencies, was the wearing out of so many gorges, or gulches, as they 
are usually termed by the miners. We may take as an illustration some 
rather i^rominent streams in the vicinity of Virginia City; and if a care- 
ful detailed survey were made, we should find that there is a main val- 
ley or gulch, with great numbers of side-gulches running up into the 
heart of the mountains on either side. The main stream may be fifty to 
one hundred miles in length, and on either side are these branch gulches, 
usually from three to ten miles long. These gulches may be carved 
entirely out of the massive strata, or they may be partly due to erosion, 
and partly to an interval, formed during elevation, that is, a monoclinal 
valley. The influence of the erosive forces, which acted with great power, 
and probably through long periods of time, though widely distributed, 
are local in their results. In other words, while the erosive forces were 
in operation all over the West, there was no widespread connection, 



SO that the eroded materials of one locality were swept far away to 
widely separated localities. Therefore, the superficial deposits of the 
miuiiig distvictSj which are usually very extensive, have their origin 
in the immediate districts where they are now found. We may take 
as an illustration the Alder Gulch, which is about twelve miles in 
length, and varies from an eighth to half a mile in width, and is literally 
filled up with sand, gravel, and bowlders, all of which were derived from 
the mountains in the immediate vicinity — indeed, within the limits of 
the drainage of that gulch. We may thus determine with a good degree 
of certainty that, when we find x)lacer-diggings, the source of the gold 
thus found is not far distant, and is most probably within the limits of 
the drainage of that locality. The origin of the placer- gold is undoubt- 
edly due to the erosion of the rocks in which it was originally precipi- 
tated ,• and inasmuch as the gold, so far as we now know, is found 
altogether in the gneissic strata, its existence in the various gulches, 
among the sand and gravel, is due to the grinding up by water of the 
surface of the metamorphic rocks in the vicinity. Instances have 
occurred where very rich placer-diggings have been found in gulches, 
but the rocks which appear to have given origin to the float-gold, yielded 
no rich lodes. This may be accounted for on the ground that the upper 
portions of the lodes contained all the rich ore, and that in the process 
of erosion this ore was all ground up, while the remainder that is left 
may have been lean, or even contained no gold at all. The i^rincipal lodes 
that have been worked in the vicinity of Virginia City are near the head 
of Alder Gulch, and are as yet only moderately successful. Up to this 
date Montana seems to have gained its high state of prosperity princi- 
l>ally from the richness of its gulch deposits. It is estimated that 
$30,000,000 of gold have been taken out of Alder Gulch since its discov- 
ery in 18G3. The lodes all have a general strike northeast and southwest. 
Perhaps they would be termed north and south lodes. I was informed 
that ail the lodes in the Territory have that general trend. The gangue 
material is very similar to that in the fold lodes about Central City, 
Colorado — quartz and feldspar of various textures. Sometimes the 
gangue is very hard and compact ; again it is rotten quartz, as it is 
termed by the miners. The country rock is mostly gneiss, also exhibit- 
ing various degrees of hardness as to texture. The dip of the lode 
matter is nearly west 50^ to 60^. The trend of the metamorphic strata 
is about northwest and southeast. The Alder Gulch closes up in a ridge 
of limestone, which forms a most remarkable wall, effectually shutting 
off all communication with the Madison Valley to the east of it. The 
altitude of Virginia City is 5,713 feet, while the head of the gulch is 
about 500 feet higher, and around it a wall of limestone rises up 
with its outcropping edges toward the gulch 800 to 1,000 feet, so that 
this ridge is at least from 7,000 to 7,500 feet above the sea. From its 
summit we can see at a glance, a broad extent of country. The Madison 
Valley, with all its beauty of outline, is visible for thirty or forty miles, 
while to the west and northwest the eye passes down the different 
gulches and branches of the Jefferson Fork into that broad valley, over 
the side ranges which intervene. We know that these limestones are 
of Carboniferous age, and are a portion of the series that has extended 
persistently all along our route from Salt Lake Valley, and perhaps 
even the same great ocean bottom that extended, during that age, 
over the area from the Mississippi Valley to the Pacific Ocean, and we 
know not how much farther. As a general rule, these limestones always 
contain a few fossils, enough to guide us in our wandering examinations, 
but the rocks are usually so compact, and sometimes so much changed, 



that few can be obtained in a condition suck as to be identified with 
certainty. Tlie species are not numerous, as will be seen by tlie list in 
a subsequent portion of this report. At the head of Alder Gulch, a 
Syringopora, Bhynconella, and Productus were found, and quite a num- 
ber of other species, which will require further study. The limestones 
pass down into very hard cherty quartzites, and then rest unconformably 
on the metamorphic rocks. Tlie strike of these limestones is about 
north and south, bearing i^erhaps a little west of north and east of 
south. As we have previously stated, the princiiDal basis rocks in the 
vicinity of this gulch are gneissic, of varied comi^osition and texture, 
with a high ridge of limestone at the head of the gulch, forming a sort of 
w^all, with the outcroppings or basset edges of the strata pointing west 
of north, and formerly extending in a horizontal position all over the 
surface. Eeturning to Virginia City, on the high divide, on the east side 
of Alder Gulch, about half-way between the head of the gulch and Vir- 
ginia City, there are patches of limestone, underlaid with cherty quartz- 
ites. These isolated masses are at different elevations, sometimes upon 
the summits of the highest ridges or down in the side gulches, sho wing- 
that a greater or less thickness of the underlying granitoid rocks have been 
worn away. They also remain as remnants of the great horizontal mass, 
2,000 to 4,000 feet in thickness, that once extended across the entire area. 

The greater portion of the surface of the high divides, however, are 
covered with basaltic rocks. They cap the hills, forming sort of plateaus 
or benches, and along the sides of the gulch, show steep sides one 
hundred feet or more in height, with the appearance of stratified layers 
in a horizontal position. As I have frequently stated, the effusion of the 
basalt is a modern event, probably occurring, for the most part, near 
the commencement of our present period, after the entire surface 
reached nearly, or quite, the present elevation. Hence we find points of 
effusion in numerous localities. The igneous lavas flowed out in layers, 
and inasmuch as a considerable amount of erosion of the surface has 
taken place since, the sides of Skome of these basaltic accumulations have 
been worn down so as to show with clearness the edges of the different 
sheets- of basalt as it cooled. From a high elevation, one may see in 
every direction numbers of these points of effusion. The streams which 
wear out the gulches pass through the basalt, deep into the granitoid 
rocks. Scattered over the surface also are patches of the Pliocene 
marls and sandstones underneath the basalts, as heretofore. In the 
mining districts around Virginia City, we have a thick series of stratified 
granitoid rocks at the base, in which the precious metals were originally 
located ; *upon them rest the quartzites and limestones of Carboniferous 
age, and filling up some of the inequalities of the surface are the modern 
Tertiary beds; and covering all, over restricted and isolated areas, are 
beds of basalt. The force of erosion which operated on all these rocks to 
accumulate the vast quantities of sand, gravel, and bowlders in the gulches 
must have been very great. Mingled with the superficial deposits are 
fragments of all the varieties of rock formations in the vicinity. Although 
more or less rounded by attrition, in the great thickness of local-drift 
may be found all the varieties of the granitoid and other rocks that are 
sulffciently compact to resist the atmospheric agencies — quartzites, lime- 
stones, with fossils, masses of basalt, &c., &c., &c. Most of these rocks 
can be traced to their parent beds in the vicinity ; a few may seem to 
have strayed from other districts, bat the strata to which they originally 
belonged may have occupied a restricted area, or had a local existence, 
and thus, in the erosion of the surface, been entirely worn away, or may 
be concealed by Tertiary or superficial deposits. In the Alder Gulch 



the miners found in the bed rock numerous " pot holes," with large 
rounded masses, six to twelve inches in diameter, in the cavities. Some 
of these spherical masses were basalt and others composed of a sort of 
basaltic sandstone. 

Eemains of a species of elephant, probably UlepJias primigenhis, 
were found in the auriferous gravel, twenty-five feet below the sur- 
face. A large tusk, with a number of teeth, ribs, and fragments 
of bones, was found. I am indebted to Judge Lovell for the gift of a 
fine collection of these remains, which are now safely secured in the 
museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The tusk is especially remark- 
able, and was preserved with great difiiculty. These fossils have been 
found in other portions of Montana, in the gravel, especially in the Last 
Chance Gulch, near Helena, where a large quantity of these valuable 
fossils were discovered. 

One tooth is said to have had a portion of the jaw-bone attached, and 
to have weighed twelve pounds. The bones, as well as the teeth, seem 
to have been partially worn as if they had been drifted about by the 
waters to some extent, and I think they were washed from the latest 
of the modern Pliocene deposits, which are abundant all over Montana. 

From Virginia City we traveled up a deep ravine to the divide that 
overlooks Madison Valley. The highest point over which the road 
passes was found to be 6,857 feet. None of the mountains on this divide 
were more than 800 to 1,200 feet above this altitude. On the east side 
of Madison Valley, there is a fine lofty range of mountains, the summits 
composed of limestones, inclining west, while at the base, and extending 
high up the sides, are grassy slopes, which give to the valley an 
attractive ai)pearance to the eye. Along the Madison Eiver, in this 
portion, are the first series of terraces yet observed. On the west 
side are three of these terraces or steps ; four, if the broad bottom is 
counted. The first terrace is 25 feet above the river, with an average 
width of half a mile ; second terrace, average width one mile, 100 feet 
above the first ; third terrace 50 feet above the second ; and the fourth 
200 feet above the bed of the river. These terraces are much more like 
table-lands on the east side than on the west. On the west side of the 
Madison, on the divide, the limestones extend over from the head of 
Alder Gulch across the Madison to the eastward. The mountains 
between the Stinking Water and the Madison Valley are not high, but 
extend about northward to the Jefferson in the form of a ridge, com- 
posed almost entirely of granitoid rocks, with outbursts of basalt, and 
here and there patches of 
Pliocene deposits. The 
dividing ridge between the 
Jefierson and the Madison 
Eivers varies from twenty 
to thirty miles in width. 
Outcroppings of massive 
gneiss project up here and 
there over the entire ex- 
tent, giving to the surface 
a rugged but picturesque 
appearance, (Fig. 8.) The 
limestones and quartzites 
are nearly or quite all strip- 
ped off, and the more yield- gneissic strata weathered out between madison river 

ing x)ortions of the granite gallatin, on elk creek. 

rocks have worn down, and the surface smoothed and grassed over, so 

Fig. 8. 



tliat there is miicli excellent grass land among the granite ridges. The 
patches of Pliocene marl here and there aid in smoothing the rougher 
portions of the surface. That portion of Madison Valley immediately 
west of Virginia City is about seventy-five miles from north to south, 
and ten miles from east to west, closing up at the south end and forming 
a fine canon through gneissic granites at the north end. These granites 
are mostly feldspathic, the feldspar joredominating, and in most in- 
stances composed only of feldspar and quartz, with iron diffused through 
the mass. This valley, at one time in the past, formed the bed of one of 
the great chain of fresh water lakes, as is shown by the lake deposits 
which underlie the upper terraces, and jut up against the mountains on 
either side. This deposit is also covered in some places with a bed basalt. 



Fort Ellis is located on the east bank of Mill Creek, one of the sources 
of the East Fork of the Gallatin, and from its position, overlooks one ot 
the most beautiful valleys in Montana. It is surrounded on the east 
and north sides by ranges of the hills and mountains which form the 
divide between the waters of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. 
After our long journey across the dry plains from Salt Lake Valley, we 
found this point a most agreeable resting-place. Every courtesy we 
could desire was extended to us by the officers. Captain J. C. Ball, at 
that time in command, during the temporary absence of Colonel Baker, 
afforded us every facility to aid us in our preparations for our explora- 
tions up the Yellowstone, and his suggestions, from long experience in 
western campaigns, were of the highest value to us throughout the trip. 
Indeed, the favors that we received at this post, both going to and 
returning from our Yellowstone exploration, were indispensable to our 
complete success. Fort Ellis, although considered one of the extreme 
frontier posts, and supposed to be located among hostile tribes of In- 
dians, really commands the valleys of the Yellowstone and the three 
forks of the Missouri, the finest and most productive portion of Mon- 
tana. It is a very pleasant station, surrounded with beautiful scenery, 
with a climate that can hardly be surpassed in any country. Streams 
of pure water flow down the mountain sides, cutting their channels 
through the plains everywhere. The vegetation is most abundant. 
Bozeman is a pretty town, with about five hundred inhabitants, situated 
three miles below, surrounded on every side with well-cultivated and 
productive farms. It is most probable that within a short period the 
]S"orthern Pacific Railroad will i)ass down this valley, and then its beauty 
and resources will become apparent. 

The drainage of the Gallatin is composed of a large number of little 
streams that rise in the great divide for a distance of eighty to one 
hundred miles, and each of these little streams gashes out a deep 
gorge or canon in the mountain sides. The geology is thus rendered 
comparatively simple in general terms, and yet in its details it is 
remarkably complicated. Two forces seemed to have operated here 
to give the present configuration to the surface, and whether they 
may have acted synchronously or at different periods, or both, is not 



very clear. I am inclined to tliiuk that tlie earlier force operated to 
elevate the long continuous ranges of mountains, the nucleus of which 
is the granitoid rocks, with the unchanged sedimentary beds upon the 
sides and summits inclining at various angles. There was originally a 
general trend to these mountain ranges that might have been called spe- 
cific, perhaps, and in the aggregate it is quite clear at the present time, 
and is a little west of north. But when we come to study the minor 
ridges, the unchanged rocks seem to incline in every direction and at 
all angles from 1^ to 90^, and even sometimes past a vertical. Another 
force, which has greatly influenced the form of the surface, and one 
which, whether it operated synchronously or not, certainly acted with 
full power at a subsequent period, concealing the metamorphic rocks and 
the older sedimentary strata over large areas, and building up most of 
the loftiest peaks. In the i)revious pages of this report, 1 have constantly 
alluded to the exhibitions of the outflow of igneous matter at almost 
every point of our journey ; but about the head- waters of the Missouri 
and Yellowstone,! have estimated that at least three-fourths of the area 
is covered with igneous rocks. Taking the valley of the Yellowstone 
from its sources in the great water-shed to the mouth of Shield's Kiver, 
an area one hundred and fifty miles from north to south, tind fifty from 
east to west, we find the evidences of volcanic action upon a tremendous 
scale, and igneous rocks cover almost the entire area. Wherever the 
metamorphic and sedimentary rocks are exposed in the vicinity of these 
extensive outflows of igneous material, their history becomes much 
complicated and the difficulties encountered by the geologist are greatly 
increased. The valley of the Gallatin, like the valleys of all the streams 
in Montana, is undoubtedly one of erosion originally, and was also the 
bed of a lake. This lake basin extended down to the junction of the Three 
Forks northward, and the modern deposits are found all along the base 
of the mountains on either side of the valley up to the very sources of the 
river, sometimes rising quite high on their sides. So great has been the 
removal of sediment during and since the recession of the waters of the 
lake, that it is not always easy to determine the entire thickness of the 
original deposit. Eemnants are left, however, at different points, some- 
times in the higher ranges of foot-hills, or in patches among the meta- 
morphic rocks at considerable elevation on the divides between the 
Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson Forks. Areas of greater or less extent 
occur GOO to 800 feet above the channels of the rivers, showing that the 
waters must have been so high that only the more elevated summits were 
above the surface. Opposite Fort Ellis are some high hills GOO to 800 
feet above the valley below, composed of the well-known Pliocene marls, 
sands, sandstones, and pudding-stones, horizontal for the most part, or 
inclining at small angles. Among these beds are outflows of basalt in a 
number of localities, but the disturbance of this group has been slight. 
In most cases these deposits jut up against the sides of the mountains, 
and when occurring in contact with the older rocks do not conform. 
The group of hills opposite Fort Ellis extend down nearly to Flathead 
Pass, and, having escaped erosion and removal for the most part, are left 
as some proof of the original thickness of the lake deposit. Upon the 
tops of the hills there is a considerable thickness of local drift, and scat- 
tered thickly over the surface are rounded bowlders in great numbers 
and variety. 

To study the older rocks to advantage, we must extend our examina- 
tions to the numerous gorges, or canons, in the mountains, which, cutting 
through the upheaved ridges at right angles, reveal more or less clearly 
the order of the superposition of the strata. In Flathead Pass, Bridger 


and Bozeman Passes, the limestones are remarkably well shown, in some 
instances inclininf^ 80^ with the upper edges of the strata a line of 
rugged columns. The more yielding beds have been removed from the 
limestones, leaving them on either side of the canon like walls, while 
atmospheric agencies have worn out the upturned edges into the most 
picturesque, jagged forms. The caiion about two miles above Fort Ellis, 
carved out by Mill Creek, forms an interesting subject of study. The 
entire range is a true anticlinal, trending northwest and southeast, with 
the more abrupt side northeast. This side has also been subjected to 
much erosion, so that the more modern beds are seldom visible, the greater 
portion now remaining, belonging to the metamorphic series, or to the 
Carboniferous age. But on the east side, covering the hills, and crop- 
I)ing out deep down in the valleys, is a vast thickness of steel-gray or 
somber-brown sandstones. The compo^tion and texture of these rocks 
are quite varied. There are alternately hard and soft layers, that is, clay 
and sandstones. The clays are quite uniform in their character, and are 
so thick in the aggregate as to give a rounded, smooth outline to the hills, 
and by weathering, to conceal the rocky strata beneath. East of Bridg- 
er's Peak, and on the divide, high up in Bozeman and Bridger Passes, 
are a large number of exposures, sufQcient to show that there are here 
about 1,200 to 1,500 feet of strata belonging to the Coal Series. Whether 
this group belongs to the Upper Cretaceous or Lower Tertiary, or both, 
I will not delay at this time to discuss. Ko animal fossils were found, but 
a fine collection of well-preserved vegetable remains were obtained, and 
are now in process of description by Mr. Lesquereux. The composition 
of these rocks is mostly sand of various degrees of fineness, some argil- 
laceous and calcareous sandstones. Most of the sandstones contain a 
small per cent, of lime. Near the head of Spring Canon, about three 
miles east of Fort Ellis, a coal-bed crops out near the bed of the creek, 
from which several tons of excellent coal have been taken. The opening 
has been made to the depth of 180 feet. There are beds of clay on either 
side of the coal-seam, as usual. The strata are nearly vertical, dipping- 
north 80^. Great quantities of impressions of deciduous leaves are found 
in the rocks along the borders of the streams, and on the hills. These 
fossils seem to be confined to no particular beds, but to occur in different 
layers of rocks, adapted to preserve them, above and below the coal and 
extending through the series of strata. A large number of specimens 
of plants are described by Mr. Lesquereux in a valuable report in an- 
other portion of this volume. 

We will now return to the west side of the range, and pass up the 
caiion to the eastward. The stream which has cut its way through 
this high ridge is a fine specimen of a mountain torrent; the water 
is pure and full of trout. As we approach the base of the hills from the 
level terrace on which Fort Ellis is located, the gorge appears so nar- 
row as to be impassable; but on entering it, we find ample room for a 
bridle-path, and we make our ascent without difficulty. As this is the 
canon which is regarded as most available for the passage of the Northern 
Pacific Eailroad, it is invested with no small degree of interest. If the 
road ascends the valley of the Yellowstone River, it will cross the divide 
just above the mouth of Shield's Eiver, and ascend the valley of a little 
stream to the westward, which rises within a few yards of the source of 
the one that flows through the canon ; so that the greater portion of the 
rock excavations has already been i)erformed by nature, with these 
two beautiful streams as her agents.. This lets the road into the 
Gallatin Valley, where it can go up to the junction of the Three Forks ; 
thence, up the Jefferson Fork, through the finest portion of Montana, 



with scarcely an impediiuent. But tbis subject will be treated more iu 
detail in subsequent i)ortions of this report. We may, before describ- 
iug- the details of the geology of this district, enumerate the formations 
we may expect to meet with. We have mentioned the existence of a 
large thickness of the lake deposits, and, frequently covering them, 
beds of basalt ; but still the latter, although a modern outflow, is not con- 
fined to the vicinity of these Pliocene marls, but may burst up through 
any of the rocks and overflow their surfaces. We are liable to meet with 
them anywhere, and in most cases they predominate over all others. 
The next group of strata older, are the coal-beds, which are exposed in 
a break in the range, and aid in concealing the older rocks for an inter- 
val of four or five miles, between the Canon and the Gallatin Mountains. 
Then come a few obscure exposures, which are, no doubt, of Cretaceous 
age, though no fossils were observed ; below them are well-defined Juras- 
sic strata, and below these the quartzites and limestones of Carboniferous 
age. None older than the latter are exposed in this gorge. A few miles 
farther to the southward, as well as to the northward, older rocks are 
brought to the surface, and we fijid that the core of the mountains is 
composed of granitoid rocks. 

Now, if we examine this range of mountains a little more in detail, 
we shall find, as we enter the canon, a series of beds which are probably 
Cretaceous, but dipping at various angles. In some portions of the 
range, fragments of the beds are lifted up to the very summit, so far as 
to form a broken arch. This arch is well shown on the north side of the 
canon, while on the south side the two sides of the anticlinal terminate 
in high jagged points of limestone, 1,000 to 1,200 feet above the plain 
below. In the supposed Cretaceous beds no well-defined fossils could 
be found, but in some beds of arenaceous limestone, were bivalves, which 
I have no doubt are of that age. Below this group there is a series of 
alternate layers of arenaceous clay, gray limestones, and sandstones, 
with layers 2 to 4 feet thick, composed of an aggregate of broken shells, 
with now and then a fragment perfect enough to be identified so as to 
show their Jurassic age. Below these are some red sandstones and 
clays, which might be remnants of the Triassic, and, as they contain no 
fossils, any opinion about them is conjectural. I think, however, that 
they are all Jurassic or Carboniferous. We then come to a great thick- 
ness of Carboniferous rocks, first quartzites, gradually passing into lime- 
stones. Eocks of Carboniferous age form the great mass of the minor 
ranges of mountains. 

On the morning of July 12, a small party of officers from the fort, 
under the guidance of Captain S. H. Norton, made a tour of exploration 
to a little lake, embosomed among the mountains, about twelve miles 
distant. W^e were accompanied also by Dr. Campbell and Lieutenant 
Jerome, to all of whom we were indebted for many kindnesses and 
much information. Our course was nearly south from the fort. After 
passing over the beautiful grassy plain between the middle and east 
borders of the Gallatin, we ascended the high hills on the west side 
of the dividing range between the waters of the Yellowstone and 
the Gallatin. These hills are so covered with debris and a heavy growth 
of vegetation that not even in the ravines can the real basis rocks be 
seen. On either side of us, however, in the very highest ridge, the 
limestones are visible, with the reddish sandstones and clays, so that 
we may infer that the Jurassic or Cretaceous are concealed beneath this 
superficial drift. After winding among these hills, through a garden of 
most beautiful wild-flowers, we reached the little lake, which, on account 
of its great beauty, and being partially hidden, we called Mystic Lake. 



It is really an expansion of one of the branches of tlie Gallatin, abont 
one-fonrth of a mile wide and three-fourths of a mile long. The scenery 
all around it is very attractiv^e, and Mr. Jackson succeeded in securing 
some most excellent photographs. The hills, immediately surrounding 
the lake, and, indeed, all the lower hills, are made up of sedimentary 
rocks, and just on the shore of the lake is a considerable thickness of 
grayish-brown arenaceous limestone filled with fossils, as Camptonectes 
hellestriafa^ Pinna, Modiola, Jllyacites, Pholodomya, and others. A patient 
search at this locality would have been rewarded with many more species, 
but enough were secured to fix the age of the beds as Jurassic beyond 
a doubt. A group of strata once fixed in the scale by such an array of 
evidence, forms a horizon which may be extended, with certainty, in 
every direction for a great distance, even though the usual fossils may 
not be found. The stream that comes into the lake passes through a 
deep gorge, walled on either side with Carboniferous limestones. But 
to the west and north, the mountains rise in rounded dome or cone-like 
peaks, 1,200 to 1,500 feet, and in a few instances 2,000 feet above the 
valleys below. These high mountains are composed of volcanic mate- 
rials, a core, as it were, of more or less compact basalt, with volcanic 
breccia all around it. Huge masses of this volcanic breccia have fallen 
down into the valley and around the lake. High up on the sides of the 
mountains, in some places, the igneous rocks present the appearance of 
strata, which have suddenly been poured out in beds, and cooled 
in separate layers, and these layers incline at moderate angles, as if 
they had been acted upon by subsequent action of the volcanic forces. 
All the lower hills, which are comparatively sloping and underlaid with 
sedimentary rocks, rising to the height of 200 to 500 feet, are covered 
thickly with vegetation, mostly pines, but the higher volcanic ridges 
are dark, gloomy, and bare, presenting the aspect of rugged desolation. 
But in the little valleys and along the margins of the streams the vegeta- 
tion is quite luxuriant, and the flowers are varied and abundant, render- 
ing traveling among these wild and apparently inaccessible hills charm- 
ing beyond description. The soil is, of course, made up of portions worn 
away from all the different kinds of rocks in the vicinity, both the igne- 
ous and sedimentary. Thus a remarkablj^ rich soil is produced, which, 
during the short season of midsummer, clothes these valleys with a 
vegetation of bright-green, and flowers of all hues. This little lake, as 
well as the stream that flows into it, is full of trout. The water is very 
clear and pure, always cool, fed as it is by the melting of the snows from 
the surrounding mountains. 

Without entering into further details of the geology of this range, I 
might say that there is no regular inclination to the sedimentary^ rocks 
of those ranges that have been so much influenced by igneous action. 
We find at one point the Carboniferous limestones on the east side of a 
deep ravine, extending down the sides of the mountain like the steep 
roof of a house, while on the opposite side the same rocks have been 
lifted up a thousand feet or more, the upturned edges indicating by their 
appearance that the period of the uplift was a modern event. It is my 
belief that the principal portion of this volcanic action occurred just 
l^rior to the present period, when the sedimentary and granitoid rocks 
had been elevated somewhat as we find them at present, and that the 
chaos which we everywhere see was produced by this general eflusion 
of igneous material, thus tossing the strata in every direction. 

A considerable amount of erosion may have occurred since, but most 
of it had already been performed. The Carboniferous rocks, up to the 
Tertiary Coal Series, inclusive, were in the same fragmentary condition 
in which we find them now. 



On the 15tli of July we bade farewell to the hospitable officers of Fort 
Ellis, and with an excellent outfit, for which we were greatly indebted 
to their kindness, started, with confidence and hope, toward the wonder- 
land of the Yellowstone Valley. We followed a Avell-traveled road, 
which wound around among the hills, diverging by numerous branches 
in almost every direction. After passing behind the main range to the 
north, we turned our course to the east, up the valley of a little branch 
of Mill Creek, and soon passed over the divide into the waters of the 
Yellowstone. The water-shed and the geological divide are by no means 
identical. The little stream cuts directly through the heart of tlie anti- 
clinal, and rises high up in the coal grouj) east of the limestones. East 
of the narrow belt of limestones the coal strata occupy the greater por- 
tion of the interval to the Yellowstone Eiver. These beds incline at 
various angles east and northeast. A large quantity of finely preserved 
impressions of leaves of deciduous trees were found. The texture of 
the rocks was quite varied, and the examples of oblique lamina of 
deposition were quite conspicuous. The sandstones were usually quite 
fine and close-grained, but sometimes they passed into a fine pudding- 
stone. Interstratified with these rocks are layers of compact basalt, 
and not unfrequently on the summits of the hills are thick masses of it. 
It will be seen at once that the dark brown or somber hue of this great 
group of strata (1,200 to 1,500 feet) is not the original color, but caused 
by the subjection of the strata to a greater or less heat during the period 
of volcanic activity. W^herever the igneous matter has come in direct 
contact with the sedimentary rocks they have been more or less changed. 
Some of the sandstones have become compact quartzites, but the same 
dark, gloomy appearance i)ervades them all. 

From the divide between the Gallatin and Yellowstone Eivers, the 
view is wonderfully fine in every direction. On the north side the 
hills rise up 600 to 800 feet. The elevation of the divide over which 
the road passes is 5,681 feet. The principal raoge of mountains 
on the south side is mostly of volcanic origin, and rises 800 to 1,200 feet. 
The belt of Carboniferous limestone seems to have a trend northeast 
and southwest, preserving its anticlinal character to the Yellowstone 
Yalley, then, crossing the Yellowstone Eiver, is seen only on the sides 
of the Snowy Eange, inclining northwest. Although the general 
character of the geological structure of the country lying between the 
sources of the Gallatin and the Yellowstone Eiver appears so simple^ 
yet months of earnest labor would be required to work it out in all its 
details. The distance is not more than thirty miles. The sediment- 
ary beds are thrown into almost inextricable confusion. I shall en- 
deavor to unravel it in part as I proceed step by step on our journey 
up the Yellowstone. 

It is probable that in general terms the rocks of the country be- 
long only to about half a dozen groups, and yet these are so multi- 
plied into a diversity of forms, and then by subsequent elevation, so 
mingled together, that at the first glance there seems only confusion; 
and yet, with the exception of the more modern volcanic forces, there has 
been a method in their action. So far as the rocks @f Carboniferous and 
Jurassic age are concerned, we may rely with some confidence on their 
uniformity of character wherever they may occur, but all the others are 
modified more or less even in their mineral texture at different localities. 
For example, on our route from Fort Ellis to the Y^ellowstone Eiver, a 
distance of about thirty miles, we find the summits of the highest hills 
covered with a greater or less thickness of a local drift, and wherever 
the rocks are shown they appear to belong mostly to the Coal Series^ 
4 G s 



(Eocene.) Interstratified with the beds of this group, are layers of basalt 
of irregular thickness, some of which is so compact and homogene- 
ous in structure that it must have cooled under much pressure, 
and perhaps never reached the surface until exposed by erosion 
or the elevation of the mountain ranges. Then in the valleys of the 
streams, some with flowing water, others dry, yet all deep and apparently 
at one time the channels of large bodies of water, are great quantities 
of the local drift and debris, concealing the underlying basis rocks so as 
to perplex the geologist, and yet an active search will show that along the 
banks of the stream, a few feet in thickness of some one of the formations 
of the district will be exposed. It may be the oldest ; it may be the latest ; 
we may find an outcrop of massive granites, of stratified granitoid 
rocks. Carboniferous limestones, or the latest Pliocene marl grouj) ; the 
youngest rocks may cover the loftiest ridges, and vice versa. The Plio- 
cene marls do not unfrequently occur in contact with the massive un- 
stratified granites on the summit of the mountains, so that we may step 
within a few paces from the youngest rocks known in the West to the 
very oldest. The beautiful, regular curves and flexures in the strata, 
which continue so systematically over long-extended areas in Pennsyl- 
vania and along the Atlantic border, are wanting in the Rocky Mount- 
ains. Local curves of remarkable beauty occur in the strata, from 
time to time, as we shall attempt to show by figures in the final report. 
Altitude, therefore, gives no clew to the age of rocks. I have also given 
the angle of inclination of the strata from time to time in my reports. 
In regard to the more eastern ranges of the Eocky Mountains, the dip 
and trend are terms possessing some force and meaning, but in the vol- 
canic regions of the Yellowstone and Missouri Elvers such observations 
seem to be of little value. There is no doubt that, when the whole 
country has been carefully mapped and the geology worked out in detail, 
a system will be found in the results of the action of the internal forces 
that gave to the surface its present form. So in regard to the position 
of the strata, altitude gives no clew 5 the oldest, to the Cretaceous inclu- 
sive, in the lowest valley, on the summit of the highest range, may be 
horizontal or incline at any angle. The Carboniferous limestones on the 
divide between Trail Creek and a little branch flowing into the 
Yellowstone to the north are vertical, or nearly so, or have been lifted 
up in broad areas to the summit of the divide, so as to be nearly or 
quite horizontal, while all around it bend down the same limestones, 
like the leaves of a table, at angles of 00° to 80°, and in a few in- 
stances inclining past a vertical. In the valley of the Yellowstone, 
these same limestones will be found horizontal, while upon the sum- 
mits of the mountains, 3,000 feet above the valley, within a few miles^ 
they incline at a very moderate angle. Tliese facts seem to show the 
imiDortance of having the topography of the country w^orked out with 
great care in connection with the geology, in order that the multiplicity 
of detail may be clearly expressed. 

From the summit of the divide down to the ravine of Trail Creek, we 
can look to the eastward, into the beautiful valley of the Yellowstone Eiver. 
On the south side is the high range of moniitains, at first composed of 
sedimentary rocks, with their jagged summits rising up 1,200 feet 
above the valley, and after passing the divide, this range flexes around 
to the south, extends up on the west side of the Yellowstone, forming 
the water-shed between the sources of the Gallatin and Madison Forks. 
After passing the head of Trail Creek, this range is composed almost 
entirely of igneous rocks, so far as they are revealed to the eye. There 
is reason to believe, however, that underneath this vast mass of basalt 



and volcanic breccia, there are sedimentary rocks, and even the granit- 
oid group, for the latter was well shown in the second canon. I luive al- 
ready described the existence of great thicknesses of Carboniferous and 
Jurassic strata on the west side of this range around Mystic Lake. Upon 
the east side, in some of the gorges or ravines of the Yellowstone drain 
age, it is quite possible that some of the older rocks are exposed. The- 
highest peaks, many of which are covered with snow all summer, are 
composed of volcanic breccia ; on the north side of Trail Creek there is a 
range of hills, as they may perhaps be called more properly. These 
hills are really a group of broken ridges ; the anticlinal belt seems to 
diverge, one portion passing up along the divide or water-shed, between 
the sources of the Gallatin and Yellowstone, appearing in full force at 
Cinnabar Mountain ; the other following along the north side of Trail 
Creek, crossing the Yellowstone River at the lower canons, and extend- 
ing off on the northeast slope of the Snow Mountains, about the sources 
of Big Bowlder, Rosebud, and Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone. The 
amount of erosion in the interval, between these two portions of the 
anticlinal, has been very great. Not that the valleys liave been en- 
tirely carved out of the mountains, for they were doubtless, in part at 
least, and i:)erhaps in all cases, marked out in the process of upheaval. 
The valley of Trail Creek, which is a narrow gorge at the head, gradu- 
ally expands out, near its entrance, to the immediate valley of the 
Yellowstone, a distance of about twelve miles, so that it is about two or 
three miles wide. We can now see, by fragments of ridges that are re- 
maining, that portions of all the formations known in this portion of 
the West, however m.uch they may have been fractured by upheavalj 
once extended across the broad interval. 

Should we ascend the high pine-covered ridge on the north side of 
Trail Creek, v^^e can look over into the next valley beyoud, and along its 
northern side, extending west or northwest nearly to Fort Ellis, we can 
see the outcropping edges of the coal-beds, inclining north and north- 
east in wave-like ridges, until they die out about ten miles distant, from 
the reverse effect of the force which elevated the Crazy Woman Moun- 
tains. The Yellowstone River cuts directly through this ridge, and 
thus forms its first caiion, and the point of exit from the canon is called 
the exit of the Yellowstone from the mountains. The walls on either 
side are entirely of Carboniferous rocks. The view from this ridge near 
the caiion, down the Yellowstone Valley to the Crow agency, is very in- 
structive. Above the canon the river flows nearly northward, but after 
emerging from the canon it bends quickly around to the northeast and 
east, and enters a lower gorge, cutting through Tertiary and Cretaceous 
beds, about three miles below the mouth of Shield's River. This valley 
belongs to the old lake system j is oval in shape, expanding from 
one-fourth of a mile in Avidth at the upper end to four or five miles. 
It is about ten miles in length and has an average width of three miles. 
On the left side of the Yellowstone, the somber-hued rocks of the Creta- 
ceous and Eocene Tertiary groups present their basset edges like walls, 
and recede to the northwest and north, in step-like ridges, for ten or 
twenty miles. The thickness of these beds I could only estimate, and 
I believe them to be in the aggregate 1,500 to 2,000 feet in thickness. 
The inclination or dip varies much, sometimes 25^ to 30°, then 10° 
to 20°. Just below the mouth of Shield's River, on the left side of 
the Yellowstone, there is a nearly vertical bluff' of these beds, composed 
of alternate layers of sandstone and arenaceous clay, ail with the steel- 
gray hue. The rocks are all of various textures and composition ; some 
layers contain a considerable per cent, of clay, and the harder beds vary 



in texture from a coarse sandstone to a compact homogeneous quartzite. 
There is in all the rocks a small per cent, of lime. The height of 
the bluff-like wall is about 500 feet, and on the summit there is an ir- 
regular bed of basalt, which fractures into an imperfect columnar form. 
In other localities layers of basalt are intercalated with the sedimentary 
beds, effecting greater or less changes in the contiguous rocks. Again, 
the basalt has flowed to the surface through the underlying strata, and 
spread over restricted areas. This group of rocks is remarkably well 
developed, and occupies nearly all the interval between the belt or ridge 
of limestone extending from near the junction of the Three Forks south- 
westward to the Yellowstone River and Shield's River. From the 
agency, this group extends down the Yellowstone as far as the eye can 
reach, so that there is a belt here of at least fifty miles from north to south, 
and twenty from east to west, which may be said to be almost entirely 
occupied by these beds, mingled with basaltic rocks which have been 
effused at different periods, and have been cooled under varying con- 
ditions. The same group of rocks appears on the right side of Gar- 
diner's River, forming a bluff' wall 800 to 1,200 feet high, with the same 
irregular beds of basalt. Similar steel-gray rocks occur in the Middle 
Park, containing leaves of deciduous trees, with thick beds of basalt, 
inclining at a high angle, in conformity with the Tertiary and Cretaceous 
beds. I have called these steel-gray beds Cretaceous and Tertiary, and 
yet I do not positively know that any portion belongs to the Tertiary. 
It is the group of rocks that contains the coal in this portion of the 
west. There are coal-beds near Fort Ellis, and indications of coal near 
the mouth of Shield's River on the Yellowstone. Leaves of deciduous 
trees of Tertiary afQnities are abundant. No molluscan fossils were 
found, yet the character of the rocks and their great thickness leads 
me to believe that they are Upper Cretaceous, passing up without any 
physical line of separation into the Lower Tertiary. I think, also, that 
they form a part of the same group which contains the coal on the 
Lower Yellowstone, below the mouth of the Big Horn. These forma- 
tions about the sources of the Missouri River and its branches need a 
much more careful and extended study than I have been able to give 
them, and I can only look forward into the future with hope, for time 
and opportunity to group them in their proper position. 

The ridge of limestone which crosses the Yellowstone at the lower 
canon seems, to one looking from the valley below, to rise abruptly out 
of the plains ; the ridges, which are made up of the Jurassic, Cretaceous, 
and Tertiary groups, incline at various angles from the main ridge, and 
seldom rise above the general level more than 100 or 200 feet, while, at 
the base of the ridge, the upturned edges of the Lower Cretaceous and 
Jurassic rocks extend iii long lines across the Yellowstone as far as the 
eye can reach, but not rising above the general level of the plain more 
than 50 or 100 feet, and sometimes not at all, but so covered with debris 
that they are only exposed in the channel of the Yellowstone. But the 
beds of limestone and quartzite of the Carboniferous group rise up 800 
to 1,200 feet above the valley below, and though the inclination in the 
canon is only about 15^ to 30", yet the outer beds dip GO" to 80°; this 
difference is not due to any want of conformability in the series, but 
doubtless to the greater ease with which the more modern beds have 
yielded to the erosive forces, while the Carboniferous limestones and 
quartzites have most effectually resisted those agencies. On the Yellow- 
stone the lower ridges extend far to the northeast, with a somewhat 
irregular height, while the limestones are elevated so as to form a group 
of lofty peaks nearly as high as the volcanic cones of the snowy range, 



9,000 to 0,500 feet above the sea. The northwest end of this Snowy 
Eange is formed of roof-shaped peaks, with slopes toward the northwest, 
and summits running up like a wedge, easily distinguished by their 
shape from the more symmetrical basaltic peaks in the same range. 
Separated by an interval of about twenty-five miles to the northwest, 
tbere is a beautiful group of conical peaks, 9,000 to 10,000 feet high, 
occjipying an area of not more than fifteen miles square, called Orazy 
Woman Mountains ; I did not visit them, but I should judge that they 
might be a local upheaval on the same line of fracture with the Snowy 
Eange. The two ranges are entirely separate, and each independent of - 
any other, and surrounded by sedimentary formations which incline from ', 
their sides at various angles. The valley, or park, as it might be called, 
below the carton, is extremely beautiful to the eye, as all these oval 
valleys are. The same proofs of an old lake basin, which we have before 
described, are seen everywhere, with gray and cream marls and sands, 
with great quantities of local drift, and the step-like terraces are well 
shown ; there is a uniformity not only in the materials, but al*o in the 
deposition of them, which must show an intimate connection and a com- 
mon origin. The canon is about three miles long; the river has cut its 
way through the limestone ridge nearly at right angles, forming a per- 
fect cross-section, so that the character of the rocks down to the gran- 
ites maybe examined. On the east side of the Yellowstone, a little above 
the canon, the junction of the Carboniferous with the granitoid series 
may be seen with great clearness. There is no method that I could de- 
vise to arrive at the exact thickness of the Carboniferous groux), but, 
with the aid of the best data I could secure, I estimated it at 1,500 to 
2,000 feet. Where rocks are thrown up in such confusion, and the streams 
cut channels through mountains, forming canons with vertical walls 
1,000 to 1,500 feet, the grandeur of the operations will oftentimes pro- 
duce such an effect on the mind as to lead to an exaggerated idea of 
the thickness, but my estimates have been checked so far as possible by 
the use of the barometer. Passing through the canon, we came into a 
broad, open valley again, much larger but similar to one already - de- 

We may now return to the valley of Trail Creek. We liave 
already stated that the range of hills on the left or north side of the 
valley is the ridge of limestone through which the Yellowstone Eiver 
has carved out its lower caiion ; the little stream, therefore, flows into 
the Yellowstone Eiver just above the canon. As we descend the valley 
of Trail Creek, we meet with a conspicuous isolated hill of basalt in the 
center of the valley, the east side bordering immediatel.y on the valley 
of the Yellowstone. A minute description of this hill would apply to 
nearly all the volcanic phenomena of the Yellowstone Valley. It will be 
seen, therefore, that it is not only important, but necessary, to repeat 
the substance of many of our descriptions from time to time, in order 
to do any kind of justice to the subject. Basalt Butte is about 800 feet 
in height above the plains below, and overlooks the valley in every di- 
rection ; it is evidently a huge mass cut off by Trail Creek Valley from 
the volcanic range on the south side. The butte is composed of volcanic 
conglomerate, or breccia j that is, the matrix is a steel-gray volcanic 
sand and dust, slightly calcareous, inclosing fragments of igneous rocks 
of varied character and texture. These inclosed masses vary in size 
from an inch to several feet in diameter; in most cases they are angu- 
lar, and the aggregate I have called a breccia, but in this butte, and in 
some other localities, the masses are more or less rounded by attrition 
in water, showing that they have been transported some distance from 



their origin. It is probable that the volcanic vent or point of effusion 
was from the group of volcanic cones, in the high range, on the east 
side of the Yellowstone, and that the dust, ashes, fragmeuts of rocks, 
&c., were thrown out into the waters of the lake, and deposited and 
cemented into the ajjparently stratified condition they now present. The 
style of weathering is much the same as in ordinary conglomerates, and 
at this locality several gorges, which have been worn by water deep into 
the sides of the hutte^ show the strata to incline 5^ to 15^. By examin- 
ing the valleys of the streams and ravines on either side of the mountain 
ranges, we shall find upon what rocks, as a basis, this volcanic material 
rests. On the north side of Trail Creek, we have the limestone ridges 
full in view, the north side of the ridges sloping down into the i)lain 
below the canon, while, on the south side, the edges of the limestone 
strata project up nearly vertically, in sharp pinnacles worn out by 
atmospheric forces. I think that these vertical limestones, for about four 
miles in extent along this creek, afford an illustration of the breaking 
down of the strata, like a table-leaf. Upon the plateau-like ridges 
above are remnants of the more modern beds, as red clays, Jurassic, Cre- 
taceous, and the Coal Series. The latter have been lifted up by a force 
acting vertically. In the valley below are the outcropping edges of the 
limestones, inclining at a small angle, but in such a way as to carry them 
directly under the Basalt Butte. Indeed, the evidence is quite clear that, 
underneath the ranges of volcanic mountains on the west side of the Yel- 
lowstone, exists a part at least and possibly all the unchanged rocks known 
in this portion of the West. The effects of erosion are such all over this 
country, that we cannot assert the existence of the full series of sedimentary 
strata unless they are visible to the eye. From the summit of Basalt 
Butte the view is very beautiful and instructive. The valley of the Yel- 
lowstone, from the lower cafion, far up above Bottler's Eanch, to the sec- 
ond caiion, about thirty miles, has been the bed of one of the mountain 
lakes. On the east side of the Yellowstone the eye takes in at a glance 
one of the most symmetrical and remarkable ranges of mountains I have 
ever seen in the West. Several of my party who had visited Europe re- 
garded this range as in no way inferior in beauty to any in that farfamed 
country. A series of cone-shaped peaks, looking like gigantic pyramids, 
are grouped along the east side of the valley for thirty or forty miles, with 
their bald, dark summits covered with perpetual snow, the vegetation 
growing thinner and smaller as we ascend the almost vertical sides, until, 
long before reaching the summits, it has entirely disappeared. On all 
sides deep gorges have been gashed out by aqueous forces cutting through 
the very core of the mountains, and forming those wonderful gulches 
which only the hardy and daring miner has ventured to explore. Tiiis 
rauge,Y»' hich is called on the map Snow^^ Mountains, forms the great water- 
shed between two portions of the Yellowstone Elver, above and below 
the first canon, and gives origin to some of the most important branches 
of that river. Large numbers of springs and small streams fiow down 
from the mountains into the Yellovrstone on the southwest side. Below 
the first canon, but from the northeast side, flow the Big Bowlder, Rose- 
bud, Clark's Fork, and Pryor's Fork, with their numerous branches. 
This range continues on in a more or less broken condition to the south- 
east, until it connects with the Big Horn Eange. From the summit of 
Emigrant Peak, one of the highest of these volcanic cones, one great 
mass of these basaltic peaks can be seen as far as the eye can reach, 
rising to the height of 10,000 to 11,000 leet above the sea. Emigrant 
Peak, the base of which is cut by the Yellowstone Eiver, is 10,029 feet 
above tide-vrater, while the valley plain near Bottler's Eanch, on the op- 



posite side of the river, was found to be 5,925 feet. This splendid group 
of peaks rises 5,000 feet and upward above the valley of the Yellowstone. 
This grand range of mountains ends abruptl^^ in the bend of the Yellow- 
stone, near the entrance of Shield's Kiver, and the basset edges of the 
limestone strata, high up on the end and inclining to the northwest, show 
conclusively that, prior to their elevation, they extended uninterruptedly 
all over this region. The greater portion of the external surface of tliis 
range is compact basalt, but the cones or central portions are the gran- 
itoid rocks, in which the gold is found. Emigrant Gulch extends up 
into the mountains about eight miles. It is a deep, narrow gorge, witli 
walls of a green and dark brown quartzite and true gneiss — indeed, tiie 
usual variety of metamorphic rocks distinctly stratified, a portion of 
them with so thin layers as to present a slaty appearance, and all with 
a somber-brown hue from contact with the igneous rocks. A fine stream 
of water flows swiftly down over its rocky bed into the Yellowstone. 
This gulch has been quite celebrated for some years past for its placer 
mines. It is estimated that somewhere from $100,000 to $150,000 in 
gold have been taken out since the discovery, in 1804. At one time 
there was quite a settlement, called Yellowstone City, near the entrance 
of the gulch, and the walls and chimneys of the houses are still standing. 
Probably two hundred or three hundred persons vvcre engaged in 
washing for gold; some very fair lodes have been discovered near the 
head of the gulch. A large amount of money was expended at one time 
in sinking a shaft and digging a ditch for the purpose of reaching the 
^•bed-rock." There are several other gulches on either side of Emi- 
grant Gulch, extending up fifteen or twenty miles to the second canon, 
and extending down to the lower or first canon, all of which have 
yielded some gold. All these gulches cut through the basalt, dee]) into 
the granitoid nucleus, revealing the mineral character as well as the 
l^istory of this range. They are not altogether formed by erosion, but 
were, of course, marked out during the process of upheaval; and as 
they have been the central lines of the erosive action of water in the far 
past, so they have been the reservoirs of the drainage from the snowy 
summits around, uj) to the present time. I thus take the position that 
during the upheaval of these mountain ranges, and perhaps since they 
have reached their present elevation, the aqueous forces were vastly 
more powerful than at present. The belt of land between the imme- 
diate base of the mountains and the channel of the Yellowstone varies 
from three to five miles in v/idth, and is covered thickly with rounded 
bowlders, varying in size from a small pebble to several feet in diameter. 
The line of junction of the superficial deposits with the sides of the moun- 
tain, is such that this line of erosion is not unfrequentl}^ five hundred 
to six hundred feet above the bed of the Yellowstone, and is almost as 
well defined as a lake terrace. The little streams that flow down from 
the mountain sides cut sections through this deposit, so that they are 
revealed quite clearly. The upper portion is composed in x^art of debris 
from the mountains, but there is all over the valley a vast deposit of 
what I can call by no better name than local drift or detritus. In this de- 
tritus are quite frequently masses of rock or bowlders that have evidently 
been transported a considerable distance by a force not now in operation 
in the vicinity. This fact points back to a time when we may suppose 
that there were vast accumulations of snow and ice all over the valleys, 
but more especially on the sides and summits of the mountains; and as 
the temperature became much warmer, this snow and ice melted, pro- 
ducing rivers and torrents with suificient force, aided perhaps by 
the masses of ice, to move these immense bowlders from place to place.. 



An important fact should be continually l3orne in mind, that a critical 
examination of this detritus reveals no evidence of the existence of 
rocks from any distant point outside of the river drainage in which 
they are found ; in other words, these superficial deposits are entirely 
made up of the materials disintegrated from the rocks in the vicinity. 
The examination of this detritus is also important to determine the 
formations that may be sought for within the limits of that drainage. 
Underlying all this detritus, in this valley, is a greater or less thickness 
of the Pliocene deposits, and the little streams on their way to the main 
river show very distinctly where these sediments have been cast by the 
waters of the lake against the mountain sides. Not unfrequently some 
of the older unchanged rocks, or even the metamorphic strata, are ex- 
I)osed — remnants left after the great erosion which preceded the present 
period. The degradation of all kinds of rocks has been going on continu- 
kUy through all geological times, and the most important geological 
changes have tbus been wrought. We may date back, first, to the time 
when all the formations known in the West, from the metamorphic rocks 
to the Eocene coal group, inclusive, extended uninterruptedly over the 
valley of the Yellowstone; and now only a few patches remain, here 
and there, of from 5,000 to 10,000 feet of sedimentary strata. Then, too, 
the mountain ranges have been pared down, we know not how much, 
since they began their ui)ward movements to the present time. At any 
rate, we know that the erosion of the mountains has been immense; that, 
in many cases, entire ranges have been degraded, so that only fragments 
remain. Again, since this valley was a lake-basin, extensive degradation 
has taken place, removing a considerable thickness of the Pliocene 
deposits. It is only when they have been protected by a sheet of basalt, 
that we can form any correct idea of their original thickness. We may 
suppose this to be a good x>roof, from the fact that the basalts seem, in 
almost all cases, to have cooled under water at some depth, probably 
not great. At the upper portion of this valley, just below the second 
canon, there are quite large areas covered with the Pliocene marls and 
sands, several hnndred feet in thickness, overlaid with a chick floor of 
basalt. These Pliocene beds present the evidence of having been de- 
posited in moderately quiet waters, so that we may suppose that they 
once extended all over the valley with a pretty uniform thickness. Since 
these valleys have been drained, or, perhaps, during the process of 
drainage, the surface has been worn into its present form, and the irre- 
gularities have been .filled up with a greater or less thickness of local de- 

It was doubtless during the slow process of drainage that the terraces, 
whi(;h constitute so conspicuous a feature of all these mountain valleys, 
were formed ; these, also, were carved out of the Pliocene deposits. Some- 
times these modern Tertiary beds are quite conspicuous, forming high 
vertical bluff walls along the valley. Again, they are removed, so that, 
with the exception of a narrow belt along the immediate base of the 
mountains on either side, the valley has been shaped into a low grass- 
covered lawn, but little raised above the bed of the stream. In many 
instances, as along the base of Emigrant Peak, the line of junction of 
the valley deposits with the sides of the mountain is indicated by the 
vegetation, and the descent, from that line down to the river bottom, is 
very gentle and smooth as a lawn, and covered with a thick growth of 
grass and other vegetation. This complete and gentle transition from 
mountain to valley forms one of the most striking and beautiful features 
in the landscape. 

We will now proceed up the valley of the Yellowstone toward the 



second canon, noting, step by step, the principal features of interest. 
We have attempted to describe the lower cahoTi, the valley al)ove as 
far as the mouth of Trail Creek, and the maguihcent range of snow- 
mountains, of which Emigrant Peak forms a part. From the upper por- 
tion of the lower canon to Trail Creek is about five miles ; and from the 
mouth of Trail Creek to Bottler's Eanch, ten miles ; and from the latter 
place to the second canon, about twelve miles. We have stated that this 
valley was one of the lake-basins that formed a series of chain-like links, 
extending probably throughout all the great hydrographic basins of the 
West. A little above Trail Creek, on the west side ot the Yellowstone, 
there is an exposure of Carboniferous limestones, 200 to 300 feet thick, 
occupying only a small area, but enough to show that the sedijuentary 
beds extend under the vast mass of basalt and breccia. On the road 
across the broad upland bottoms of the Yellowstone, a number of fine 
streams, six to ten feet wide, which have their origin in springs at th^ 
base of the range of mountains on the west side, flow across the table- 
like bottoms, almost on the surface, overflowing in many places, 
so that they form natural acequias. There is so little channel 
that tliey are quite noticeable. Basaltic bowlders of immense size 
are scattered all over the plain, and the finer detritus forms the cov- 
ering of the entire surface. Some of these bowlders stand out in the 
plain far from any water at the present time, and are six to ten feet in 
diameter. It is possible that water alone has been the agent that has 
moved them to their present position, by slow degrees, at some period 
far back in the past, but it is also possible that ice may have aided in 
the work. 

From the mouth of Trail Creek to Bottler's Eanch, the modern 
basalt makes its appearance on the west side of the valley from time 
to time. In some localities it is quite i^rominent and breaks off in reg- 
ular columns. It is possible that this sheet or floor of basalt extended 
all over the valley at one time, as the appearance of the portions that 
are now left would seem to indicate. If so, the disintegration and 
removal of the basalt must have been very great. This basalt is visible 
in greater or less force all the way up to the foot of the second caiion, 
and on the east side of the Yellowstone there is a bluif wall, cut by the 
river, which shows, at the top at least, three difierent beds of basalt, 
indicating as many different outflows. Underneath the basalt are 100 to 
150 feet of light-gray marly sand and sandstone, clearly belonging to 
the modern lake deposit. These are the rocks which may be said to 
form the valley i^roper — first, the Pliocene, or lake deposits ; secondly, the 
broad sheet or floor of basalt ; thirdly, the detritus, or local drift. On 
the sides of the main valley, and sometimes intrenching upon it, are the 
materials of the volcanic breccia, which must have been thrown out of 
fissures and vents in the mountain ranges on one side of the valley or 
the other, or perhaps both, into the waters of the lake, and then re- 
arranged and cemented together. If we delay a moment, and study this 
basaltic breccia on the east side of the valley just back of our camp at 
Bottler's Ranch, we shall be able to form some conception of its char- 
acter. We find here, that the foot-hills are entirely composf^d of it j and 
as the erosion has in some instances cut some excellent sections in it, it 
is easily studied. The general hue is the usual somber-gray or brown 
of most igneous rocks, but still there are a great variety of colors ; some- 
times there are thin seams of milky-white and cream marly clay, then 
a mixture of materials which, when disintegrated, leave debris like the 
ashes of an old furnace ; at other places the rocks have a dull brick-red 
color, as if the volcanic fires had raged only yesterday. The Vvhole as- 



pect IS modera, and one feels, as he winds his way among these high 
basaltic hills, that he is in a region where the great volcanic forces 
which have given form to this entire region, ceased at a period so recent, 
that a recurrence of the same events might be looked for at any time. 
Indeed, earthquake-shocks have been felt in the vicinity of Emigrant 
Gulch several times since the discovery of gold there in 1864. Immense 
masses of the basaltic breccia have fallen down from themountains among 
the foot-hills ; and in the valley some of the included masses are slightly 
worn, as if they had been rolled about in the waters for a time, but 
most of them are angular; some of them are red, like pumice, 
others black, compact, close in texture, like obsidian. There is, indeed, in 
this breccia almost every possible variety of basalt. The cement is rather 
firm, resisting the atmosphere well, looking much like volcanic ashes. 
Scattered through the bottoms and on the sides of the hills are quite 
abundant gneiss bowlders, some of them of great size, and most of them 
considerably worn. 

From Fort Ellis to within a mile of the foot of the second caiion 
not an exposure of the metamorphic rocks was seen on the right' 
or west side of our road; and, after leaving Trail Creek, the igneous 
rocks arose 2,000 to 2,500 feet above the valley, and some of the higher 
peaks were at least 3,000 feet above the plain As soon as we reach the 
foot of the second canon, we find the mountains are made up of the 
same granitoid rocks. Two of the streams that flow down from the 
divide, that must have their sources at least ten or fifteen miles in the 
heart of the mountains west of the river, have brought down in their 
channels detached portions of the granitic rocks, showing that the cen- 
tral mass of the range between the second canon and the sources of 
the west branch of the Gallatin is metamorphic. The size, abundance, 
and position of these rounded granite bowlders are such that no forces 
now in operation in this region could have moved them high up on the 
sides of the valley, where no water is found or can reach at the present 
time. They cover a space a mile in length and one-fourth of a mile in 
width, as thick as they can lie on the ground. 

I have already referred to the section of the foot-hills cut by the 
Yellowstone Eiver, about a mile above Bottler's Eanch, and that this 
section would seem to show the thickness and character of the original 
lake deposits. From the water up there is about one hundred feet of a 
light-cream marly, indurated clay, with some concretions, from a few 
inches to two feet in diameter. Above this there are 40'feet detritus, 
composed of rounded pebbles, and above this very modern local drift, 
there are 30 to 00 feet of the basalt. This fact shows the very modern 
character of this outflow, as I have endeavored to show in other por- 
tions of this report. Just opposite this bluff', on the west side of the 
valley, there is another feature which is quite a conspicuous one in the 
landscape. There is here a series of terraces, five in number, which 
rise, step by step, with remarkable regularity. The usual terrace sys- 
tem is undeveloped in this valley ; but in this locality there is a series 
of regular steps, rising about 200 feet above the channel of the river. 
They probably belong to the system of terraces that was formed during 
the period of drainage of these mountain lakes ; but why they should 
be divided in so marked a way as at this point I could not explain. 

Before closing this chapter, I will note, very briefly, some of the re- 
sources of this valley. It is about fifteen miles long, and will average 
three miles in width ; is well watered, soil fertile, and in every respect 
one of the most desirable portions of Montana. We may not look for 
an}' districts favorable for agriculture in the Yellowstone Valley above 



the second canon; but this entire lake basin seems admirably adapted 
for grazing and for tlie cultivation of the usual crops of the country. 
The cereals and the roots have already been produced in abundance, es- 
pecially wheat and potatoes. The mountains on either side are covered 
with snow, to a greater or less extent, all the year, which in melting, feeds 
the numerous little streams that flow dovv'u the mountain sides in the 
Yellowstone. Hundreds of springs flow out of the terraces. One terrace 
near Bottler's Ranch gives origin to fifty springs within a mile, and then, 
all aggregating together in the river bottom, form a large stream. Thus 
there is the greatest abundance of water for irrigation, or for any of the 
purposes of settlement. The elevation of the valley at this ranch is 
4,925 feet, and this may be regarded as the average in altitude. But a 
small portion of it is occupied as yet, but the time is not far distant 
when the valley will be covered with fine farms and the hills with stock. 
It will always be a region of interest, from the fact that it is probably 
the upper limit of agricultural efibrt in the Yellowstone Valley. 



In our last chapter we described the beautiful lake-basin below the 
second cauon. We found that rocks of volcanic origin predominated 
over all others. In this cahon, which is carved out of a lofty range of 
mountains by the river, we see that the core or nucleus is true gneissoid 
granite. Before reaching the canon for a mile, the gneissic rocks are 
well sltown high up on the mountain sides with a stratification so clear 
and distinct as to be a noticeable feature. The strata incline west 10^ 
to 15°. The upper beds are composed mostly of feldspar and quartz, 
and are, consequently, compact and rather massive ; but lower down 
they are a black, micaceous gneiss. About midway up the canon the 
w^alls on either side rise up nearly vertically, on the east side 1,500 feet, 
and on the west side from 1,000 to 1,200 feet, the strata having a general 
dip of 30° to 40^ westward. The different shades of color, give to the 
sides of the canon a peculiarly stratified appearance, produced by alter- 
nate layers of micaceous granite, feldspar, and quartz. Protruding 
through the layers, here and there Fig. g. 

may be seen, as indicated by the dark 

hue, masses of trap, (Fig. 9.) Scat- ^ ^ , 
tered all over the valley, and on the ^^^tT""*^ " 
sides of the mountain, are great quan- , 
titles of broken masses of granite. , 
This canon v/as undoubtedly started 
in a fissure, but it is mostly one of 
erosion. It is about three miles long. 
This is, of course, an extension of the 
range of mountains in which Emi- 
grant Gulch is located, and it undoubt- 
edly contains mines of gold. The 
rocks, with their peculiarly distinct 
and contorted strata as well as texture 
remind one of the gneissic mountains in the mining districts of Colorado. 
The river rushes with considerable force over the loose masses of rock 



that have fallen into the channel, and presents a picturesque view 
to the traveler struggling along over the narrow trail, high up on 
the mountain side. But wherever the water forms an eddy, so that 
it is even moderately quiet, the number of fine, large trout that can be 
taken out within a limited period would astonish the most experienced 
fisherman. Above the canon the rocks return at once to their igneous 
character. This is readily shown by the differeuce in the appearance 
of the surface features. Although the granitic portion is higher and 
more massive in its general aspect, yet the surface is rounded and 
much of it covered with debris that admit the growth of grass, while 
the volcanic rocks give a jagged ruggedness to the outliue. "Outflows of 
dark-brown basalt, apparently of late date, mingled with huge masses 
of breccia, can be seen on either side of the valley to the summits of 
the mountains. The foot-hills* on either side are certainly composed 
of breccia for several miles, which, decomposing, gives to the surface 
the appearance of the remains of an old furnace. Perhaps it would be 
better to compare it to a modern volcanic district. The debris has the 
great variety of colors peculiar to the remains of modern igneous action. 
The inclosed fragments are mostly angular, or slightly worn, and vary in 
size from minute particles to masses two feet in diameter, though they 
are mostly small. Some of the rounded hills are quite red on the sum- 
mits, as if covered with cinders. The nuclei of the mountains are granite, 
however, although the basis rocks are mostly concealed by the outflows 
of volcanic material. On the east side, the river cuts close to the base 
of the mountains, but on the west side, there is quite a broad belt, com- 
pridng the foot-hills, which are composed of basaltic conglomerate, 
covered thickly with the debris of the same. There is here a small lake, 
200 yards long and 50 yards wide, occupying a depression among the 
hills. The margins are covered with piles of volcanic debris^ which give 
it the appearance of an old crater or fissure. The basaltic rocks rest 
upon the upturned edges of the metamorx)hic rocks, the former inclining 
in all directions, while the latter, on the west side of the river, di^i west 
and northwest at all angles from 10° to a vertical side, while on the east 
side they incline east and southeast, at an angle of 60^. For a distance 
of two or three miles the mountains on the east side are so worn off that 
they present a vertical face, which reveals the inner character well. Al- 
ternate beds of a kind of somber indurated clay, volcanic debris, andbas-* 
alt of various colors, continue all the way up for a thickness of several hun- 
dred feet- These rest upon a reddish feldspathic granite. In some places 
the melted basalt was poured over the surface of the granitic rocks, 
filling up the irregularities and penetrating the fissures so that it gives 
the sides of the mountains a mottled appearance. The volcanic and 
granitic rocks are mingled together in such confusion that it would re- 
quire a long, tedious 
study to separate them. 
On the west side of 
the Yellowstone River, 
about ten miles above 
the second caiion, there 
is an exhibition of up- 
lifted strata. It is some- 
times called Cinnabar 
Mountain, from a 
brick-red band of clay 
which extends from 
the summit down the side, and was supposed to be cinnabar. A portion 

Fig. lo. 



Of it, from its peculiarly rugged character, is called the ''^^^^^'^ S^^^^^^^ 
The lower part of the mountain facing the river is composed of light- 



has evidently been cut tlirongli these quartzites. The same rocks under- 
lie the mountains on the opposite side of the river, and resting uncoufor- 
niably on the quartzites are at least 1,000 feet of Carboniferous limestone, 
exceedingly cherty, impure, of a yellowish-gray and brown color, and so 
massive that the stratification is quite indistinct. These limestones possess 
a great variety of textures. Above them are a series of beds, standing in 
nearly a vertical position, alternating with clays which have been worn 
away by atmospheric forces, so that the harder layers project above the 
surface in jagged edges. The harder layers are mostly yellowish cherty 
limestones. The band of indurated brick-red clay is 50 to 100 feet thick, 
and from its bright scarlet hue attracts the attention of travelers from 
all points of the compass. A bed of yellowish-gray quartzite forms one 
of the walls of the DeviPs Slide, and is probabl}^ near the summit of the 
Carboniferous group in this locality. The excellent illustration, (Fig. 
11,) taken on the spot by Mr. Elliott, shows the nearly vertical wall of 
quartzite on the right, the broad interval cov^ered with debris^ grass, 
and a few scattered pines ; and on the left, the huge wall or dike of ba- 
salt. The low interval is composed of dark steel-gray slate, extends 
from the summit to the base of the hill, and is about 150 feet wide. The 
south wall or dike is very compact trachyte, stands nearly vertical, 50 
feet thick, and at some points 200 feet high. It is probable that this 
igneous mass was thrust up between the strata, since they were ele- 
vated to their present position, and doubtless during the Pliocene pe- 
riod. On either side of the dike, the clays have been changed into 
the metamorphic slates. Fragments of the slate are attached to the 
w^alls high up on either side. This is a remarkable feature, in the geol- 
ogy of this region. Far to the left or south of the dike the jagged ver- 
tical edges of the Jurassic strata can be seen. The inclination of all 
these beds ranges from 00° to 80^ southwest. The two walls of the 
Devil's Slide stand at an angle of 80^. The interval near the sum- 
mit of the hill is rather narrow, but expands out at the base to dou- 
ble the width. Above this dike, in order of superposition, though 
now standing side by side, is a group of Jurassic strata — first, a low 
interval of shaly, marly clay, ashen brown ; secondly, brov/nish-gray 
arenaceous limestone, with fragments of fossils that are evidently 
Jurassic, 50 feet thick; dip, 70°; thirdly, purplish and reddish indu- 
rated, slaty clay, with seams of sandstone projecting but little above 
the surface ; fourthly', a bed of trap 6 feet thick ; fifthly', slaty clay 
sandstones, the upper part a fine pudding-stone, standing nearly vertical, 
70^ to 800, 100 feet; sixthly, numerous layers, which may be aggregiited 
as alternate beds of yellowish-gray quartzites and slaty clays, valying 
but little in texture, the harder portions standing up in more or less 
jagged edges, with the softer clays washed out from between them ; dip, 
60O to 70;" 300 feet; seventhly, 200 feet of ashen-gray shales and sand- 
stones ; eighthly, 400 to GOO feet of alternate beds of shaly clay sand- 
stone and quartzites. This last group doubtless contains the Lower 
Cretaceous beds. The harder layers, 6 to 10 feet thick, rise above the 
general surface of the mountain-side like w^alls. The dip is 50^ to 60°. 
The dark laminated clays of the Cretaceous passing up into the Upper 
Cretaceous ^rewell shown with ijerfect continuity, then passing up into 
a great thickness of somber brown sandstones of the Coal group. There 
is a great uniformity in the Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary series. We 
can detect some variations in color and texture, but they are of minor 
importance, and could not be easily described in words. At one point 
the strata are much crushed together. The dip of the beds just described 
is toward t he southeast ; but, by the elevation of the mountain to the 



soiitlieast, the inclination of the Lower Tertiary and Cretaceous beds is 
reversed northwest 15° to 1^5°, extending to tlie samraits of tlie mount- 
ains, which rise 3,000 feet above the Yeliowstone River, and are capped 
with Carboniferous limestones. 

From the general appearance of the surface of the country, I believe 
that there was originally mach greater uniformity in the inclination of 
the sedimentary strata, in the aggregate, than there is at present. The 
volcanic forces which operated at a period subsequent to the elevation 
of the older sedimentary beds rendered their position much more chaotic 
in many localities. We have here, within a few miles, the Carboniferous 
beds, near the channel of the Yellowstone, and the same strata capping 
a mountain-peak 3,000 feet above it. We have also, in the exposure here 
and there of a consecutive series of the sedimentary beds, continual 
loroofs of our statement that they originally extended all over the area 
now occux)ied by the valley and the mountain ranges that border it. 

The study of the series of sedimentary rocks, so linely exposed at Cin- 
nabar Mountain and with such regularity of sequence, reveals another 
interesting fact — that the Yellowstone Valley may be, in part at least, 
one of anticlinal origin. We have before shown that the limestone 
range contracted to a narrow belt near Fort Ellis and Bozeman Pass ; 
that near the head of Trail Creek the ridge seemed to divide, the 
north portion of the anticlinal crossing the Yellowstone Eiver at the 
Lower Canon, and continuing a little south of east along the sources 
of the branches of the Yellowstone, as Big Bowlder, Eosebud, Black's 
Fork. The south portion extended southward along the western side 
of the dividing range between the drainage of the Yellowstone and the 
Missouri Eivers. Cinnabar Mountain seems therefore to represent a 
fragment of the south portion, which has not been concealed by debris 
or volcanic outflow, or removed by erosion. 

About four miles above Cinnabar Mountain the basalt seems to have 
poured out over the entire surface, and forms mountain-peaks, rising 
2,000 to 2,500 feet above the valley. In the sides of some of the foot- 
hills are exi)osed from 100 to 300 feet of strata nearly or quite hori- 
zontal, and apparently modern — not older than Pliocene— sands, sand- 
stones, and marly clays, overlaid by beds of basalt. They have the 
dark brown hue which all the modern rocks seem to have when con- 
tiguous to igneous outflows. From Cinnabar Mountain to the moufh 
of Gardiner's Eiver, about six miles, the Yellowstone Valley, which 
expands out on the west side to a width of about two miles, is covered 
with rounded bowlders of massive granite. The mica is usually black, 
so that the granites have a somber hue somewhat like ancient trap. The 
channel of the river is also filled with these huge bowlders, which have 
probably been brought down from the canon of the Yellowstone oppo- 
site Gardiner's Eiver. Just above Cinnabar Mountain, on the east side 
of the Yellowstone, the more modern beds make their appearance low 
down on the sides of the mountains, as if the dip of the sedimentary 
rocks had changed toward the east, and the channel had cut through 
the intervals of the ridges, exposing the outcropping edges of about 
800 feet of Tertiary beds of various colors and textures. They are filled 
witli intrusions of basalt. The sides of the hills are covered with the 
dark debris. Bear Gulch is a deep, narrow canon, which the little stream 
has cut into the mountain side, exposing the granitic core. Masses of 
granite have been wrenched from their parent bed and swept down into 
the valley of the Yellowstone. 

The third canon is mostly through the granites. They are, as usual, 



of a great variety of textures, but largely massive feldspar. Between 
the Yellowstone and Gardiner's Eiver, commencing at the junction, a 
wedge of land commences, which rises to the height of 2,000 feet or 
more with great regularity. This is a portion of the belt of modern 
sedimentary beds, as shown on the east side of the river, below the 
junction, as exposing an outcropping thickness of about 800 feet. The 
Yellowstone makes a bend to the eastward at this point, running out- 
side of the belt of sedimentary strata, and carving its channel out of 
granitic and volcanic rocks. The latter are composed of basalt, basaltic 
conglomerate, and the deposit of Hot Springs. Gardiner's River, al- 
though diverging but little from a parallel, seems to flow through a 
monoclinal interval, exposing a clean, wall-like front of 1,200 feet, on the 
east side, of Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. The dip is slight, 10°, but 
toward the northeast, and as w^e ascend the river, lower beds are exposed, 
until at least 1,800 feet of Cretaceous and Lower Tertiary beds are brought 
to the surface within a distance of six or eight miles. Local intercalated 
beds of basalt are also exposed toward the summit of the hill, and near 
the forks of the river a heavy bed of the basalt, quite compact, rests hor- 
izontally on the inclined edges of the strata. There were found here 
quantities of obscure fossils, among them a species of Ostrea, and a num- 
ber of impressions of deciduous leaves, all of Cretaceous affinities. At 
another locality a layer of shells was found, and among them Mr. Meek 
detected Corbula j^yriformiSj a species occurring near Bear Eiver City, 
which is regarded as of estsary origin, and of Tertiary age. At another 
point I found upon the side of the hill, on the east fork of Gardiner's 
Eiver, Amonites^ Baculites^ and Inoceramus. There is little or no lime 
in this great group of beds, simply alternate beds of sandstone, arena- 
ceous clays, passing down into the dark somber clays of the Cretaceous. 
As we descend in the series, the rocky layers diminish, and the indurated 
clays increase, until near the forks of Gardiner's Eiver, the dark Creta- 
ceous clays are 500 feet thick. The sides of the blufl* hill are deeply fur- 
rowed. This inner ridge, which w^e have just attempted to describe, is 
one of the finest exposures, as a vertical section of strata, that I have met 
with in this portion of the West. These beds are only a remnant of a 
former period, isolated monuments covering a very restricted area; 
whereas they must have extended across the river, and all over the 
portion now occupied by the mountains to the westward of the sources 
of the Missouri. The lower beds of the Cretaceous with the Juras- 
sic and the Carboniferous inclusive, incline from the east side of the 
mountains, and dip under Gardiner's Eiver. It is througli the latter 
beds that the waters of the White Mountain Hot Springs come to the 
surface. Just above the junction of Gardiner's Eiver with the Yellow- 
stone, on the east side, a seam of earthy lignite six inches tliick crops 
out. Below it is a layer of oyster-shells, and above it are impressions of 
deciduous leaves. The local detritus all over this valley is so extensive 
that it deserves continual notice. It seems to fill the irregularities 
of the surface, especially in the vicinity of the streams. The section 
made by the river reveals 50 to 100 feet at times, filling up old ravines 
or gulches w^orn out of the basis rocks. 

Before proceeding further with the general geological features of this 
country, I will attempt to describe, with as much detail as possible, one 
of the most remarkable of the many marvels of this wonderful valley. 

I have just described, with some minuteness, the high wall of Cre- 
taceous and Tertiary beds on the east side of Gardiner's Eiver, which, 
in itself, is well worthy of careful attention. Upon the opposite side of 
the river, on the slope of the mountain, is one of the most remarkable 

Fig. 12, 




groups of Lot springs in the world. The springs in action at tlie pres- 
ent time are not very numerous or even so wonderful as some of those 
higher up in the Yellowstone Valley or in the Fire-Hole Basin, but it 
is in the remains that we find so instructive records of their past 
history. The calcareous deposits from these springs cover an area of 
about two miles square, (see chart, Fig. 12.) The active springs extend 
from the margin of the river 5,545 feet to an elevation nearly 1,000 above, 
or 0,522 feet above t-he sea by barometrical measurement. We may 
commence our description at the springs near the margin of Gardiner's 
Eiver. As we pass up the valley from the junction of Gardiner's River 
with the Yellowstone, we see all over the sides of the hills upon our left 
the debris of volcanic rocks mingled with the Cretaceous clays. Indeed, 
the entire surface looks much like the refuse about an old furnace. The 
tops of the rounded hills are covered with the fragments of basalt and con- 
glomerate, and the great variety of somber colors adds much to the ap- 
pearance of desolation. One or two depressions, which appear much like 
volcanic vents, are now filled with water to the rim, forming stagnant 
lakes fifty to one hundred yards in diameter. We pass over this barren 
elevated region, 200 to 400 feet above the river-bed, for two miles, when 
we descend abruptly to the low bottom, which is covered with a thick 
calcaereous crust, indicating the former existence of hot springs. At 
one point a large stream of hot water, 6 feet wide and 2 feet deep, flows 
swiftly along its channel from beneath the crust, the open portion of 
the channel clearly revealed by the continual steam arising. The tem- 
perature varies from 126° to 132°. On the 28th of August the tem- 
perature was 130^, and about the 15tli of July previous it was 12G^. 
There is a greater quantity of water flowing from this spring than 
from any other in this region. A little farther above are three 
or four other springs near the margin of the river. These have 
nearly circular basins 6 to 10 feet in diameter, and do not rise above 
100^ to 120°. Around these springs are gathered, at this time, a number 
of invalids, with cutaneous diseases, and. they were most emphatic in 
their favorable expressions in regard to the sanitary effects. The 
most remarkable effect seems to be on persons afflicted with syphilitic 
diseases of long standing. Our path led up the hill by the side of a ' 
wall of lower Cretaceous rocks, and we soon came to the most abun- 
dant remains of old springs, which, in past times, must have been very 
active. The steep hill, for nearly a mile, is covered with a thick crust, 
and, though much decomposed and covered with a moderately thick 
growth of pines and cedars, still bore traces of the same wonderful 
architectural beauty displayed in the vicinity of the active springs 
farther up the hill. After ascending the side of the mountain, about 
a mile above the channel of Gardiner's Eiver, we suddenly came in full 
view of one of the finest displays of nature's architectural skill the world 
can produce. The snowy whiteness of the deposit at once suggested 
the name of White Mountain Hot Spring. It had the appearance of a 
frozen cascade. If a group of springs near the summit of a mountain 
were to distribute their waters clown the irregular declivities, and they 
were slowly congealed, the picture would bear some resemblance in 

We pitched our camp at the foot of the principal mountain, by the 
side of the stream that contained the aggregated waters of the hot 
springs above, which, by the time they had reached our camp, were 
sufficiently cooled for our use. Before us was a hill 200 feet high, 
composed of the calcareous deposit of the hot springs^ with a system 
of step-like terraces which would defy any description by words. The 
5 G s 




eye alone could convey any adequate conception to the mind. The steep 
sides of the hill were ornamented with a series of semicircular basins, 
with margins varying in height from a few inches to 6 or 8 feet, and so 
beautifully scalloped and adorned with a kind of bead-work that the be- 
holder stands amazed at this marvel of nature's handiwork. Add 
to this, a snow-white ground, with every variety of shade, of scarlet, 
green, and yellow, as brilliant as the brightest of our aniline dyes. 
The pools or basins are of all sizes, from a few inches to 6 or 8 
leet in diameter, and from 2 inches to 2 feet deep. As the water flows 
from the spring over the mountain side from one basin to another, it 
loses continually a portion of its heat, and the bather can find any desir- 
able temperature. At the top of the hill there is a broad flat terrace 
covered more or less with these basins, one hundred and fifty to two 
hundred yards in diameter, and many of them going to decay. Here wefind 
tlie largest, finest, and most active spring of the group at the present 
time. The largest spring is very near the outer margin of the terrace 
and is 25 by 40 feet in diameter, the water so perfectly transparent that 
one can look down into the beautiful ultramarine depth to the bottom 

of the basin. 
The sides, of 
the basin 
are orna- 
mented with 
forms, with 
a great va- 
r i e t y of 
pure white 
to a bright 
cream -yel- 
low, and the 
blue sky re- 
flected in 
the trans- 
parent wa- 
ters gives an 
azure tint to 
the whole 
which sur- 
passes all 

art. The calcareous deposit around the rim 
is also most elegantly ornamented, but, like 
the icy covering of a pool, extends from the 
edge toward the center, and this projects over 
the basin until it is not more than a fourth of 
an inch thick. These springs have one or 
more centers of ebullition, and in this group it 
is constant, seldom rising more than two to 
four inches above the surface. From various 
portions of the rim the water flows out in 
moderate quantities over the sides of the hill. 
Whenever it gathers into a channel and flows 
quite swiftly, basins with sides from 2 to 8 feet 
high are formed, with the ornamental designs 
proportionately coai'se, but when the water 




flows slowly, myriads of the little basins are formed, one below tlie other, 
with a kind of irregular system, as it might be called, which constitutes 
the diU'erence between the works of nature and the works of art. The 
water holds a great amount of lime in solution. It also contains some 
soda, alumina, and magnesia. The ebullition is largely due to the emission 
of large quantities of carbonic acid gas. As these waters flow down the 
sides of the mountain, they constantly deposit more or less of this calca- 
reous sediment in almost every possible variety of form. Underneath 
the sides of many of these pools are rows of stalactites of all sizes, many 
of them exquisitely ornamented, formed by the dripping of the water 
over the margins of the basins. The annexed illustrations will convey 
some idea of the form of these bathing-pools as they are arranged one 
above the other, but the beautiful series of photographs taken by Mr. 
Jackson are of far greater Talue. Even the photograph, which is so re- 
markable for its fidelity to nature, falls far short. It fails to give the 
exquisitely delicate contrasts of coloring which are so pleasing to the 
eye. (Fig. 13.) 

On the west side of this deposit, about one-third of the way up the 
White Mountain from the river and terrace, which was once the theater 
pj of many active springs, old 

chimneys, or craters, are scat- 
tered thickly over the surface, 
and there are several large 
holes and fissures leading to 
vast caverns beneath the crust. 
The crust gives off a dull hollow 
sound beneath the tread, and 
the surface gives indistinct evi- 
dence of having been adorned 
with the beautiful pools or ba- 
sins just described. As we pass 
up to the base of the principal 
terrace,we find a large area cov- 
ered with shallow pools, some 
of them containing water with 
all the ornamentations perfect, 
while others are fast going to 
decay, and the decomposed sed- 
iment is as white as snow. Up- 
on this kind of sub-terrace is a 
remarkable cone about 50 feet 
in height and 20 feet in diameter at the base. 
From its form we gave it the name of the Liberty 
Cap. (Fig. 14.) It is undoubtedly the remains 
of an extinct geyser. The water was forced up 
with considerable power, and probably with- 
out intermission, building up its own crater 
until the pressure beneath was exhausted, and 
then it gradually closed itself over at the sum- 
mit and perished. No water flows from it at 
the present time. The layers of lime were deposited around it like 
the layers of straw on a thatched roof or hay on a conical stack. Not 
far from the Liberty Cap is another small cone, which, from its form, we 
called the " Bee-hive." These springs are constantly changing their 
position ; some die out, others burst out in new places. A fine large spring- 
made its appearance for the first time in August last on this terrace. On 




the northwest margin of the main terrace there is an example of what 
I have called an oblong mound. There are several of them here, extend- 
ing in different directions, from fifty to one hundred and fifty yards in 
length, from 6 to 10 feet high and from 10 to 15 feet broad at the 
base. There is in all cases a fissure from one end of the summit to the 
other, usually from 6 to 10 inches wide, from which steam sometimes is- 
sues in considerable quantities, and as w^e walk along the top we can 
hear the water seething and boiling below like a cauldron. The inner 
portion of this shell, as far down as we can see, is lined with a hard, 
white enamel-like porcelain ; in some places beautiful crystals of sulphur 
have been precipitated by the steam. These have been built up by a 
kind of oblong fissure-spriug in the same way that the cones have been 
constructed. Tlie water was continually spouting up, depositing sedi- 
ment around the edges of the fissure until the force was exhausted, and 
then the calcareous basin was rounded up something like a thatched 
roof by overlapping layers. 

Near the upper terrace, which is really an old rim, are a number of 
these extinct, oblong geysers, some of which have been broken down so as 
to show them to be Fig. 
a mere shell or cav- 

ern, which is now 

the abode of wihl m 
animals. (Fig. 15.) 
I attempted to en 
ter one of them, ^£ 
and it was full of 
sticks and bones gp^^ ^ 
which had been 
carried in by wild 
beasts, and swarms 
of bats flitted to 
and fro. Some of 
them have been 
worn away so that 
sections are ex- 
posed, showing the ^^^^J^ 
great number and "W-^^^s? 
thickness of the overlapping layers of sediment. 
Some of these mounds are overgrown with pine- 
trees, w^hich must be at least eighty to a hundred 
years old. Indeed, the upper part of this moun- 
tain has the aspect of a maguificent ruin of a 
once flourishing village of these unique structures, now fast decompos- 
ing, even more beautiful and instructive in their decay. We can now 
study the layers of deposit, which are sometimes revealed by thou- 
sands on a single mound, as we would the rings of growth of a tree. 
How long a period is required to form one of these mounds, or to 
build up the beautiful structure which we have just described, I have 
not the data for determining. Upon the middle terrace, where the 
principal portion of the active springs are at the present time, some 
of the pine-trees are buried in the sediment apparently to the depth of 
(3 or 8 feet. All of them are dead at the present time. We have evi- 
dence enough around the springs themselves to show that the mineral- 
water is preciintated with great rapidity. I think I am safe in believing 
that all the deposits in the immediate vicinity of the active springs are con- 
stantly changing from the margin of the river to the top of the White 




Mountain and return. Tbe deposits upon the very summit are great, 
tliougb now there is very little water flowing from the springs, and 
that is of a low temperature. 

Traces of even greater activity than we see at present are found 
in some localities, and it is more than probable that the force is grad- 
ually dying out from 
year to year, and that 
finally it will cease en- 
tirely. We have nu- 
merous localities in the 
West where there have 
been vast groups of hot 
aiK^.^^^ springs and geysers, 
tiftv -V but at the present time 
only the ruins are left. 
It would seem proba- 
ble that the heat which 
gives the temperature to the atmospheric waters rises through numerous 
fissuies from one common source in the interior of the earth, so that 
when from some cause this heat is checked in its ujjward progress in one 
place, it finds vent in an- 
other, and thus passes 
from point to point over' 
a district. It is probable 
that they have existed 
since the period of vol- 
canic activity, and that 
now they are diminishing 
in force, and that event- 
ually nothing but the de- 
posit will remain. Large 
numbers of old chimneys 
are scattered over the surface, formed by what may be properly called 
pulsating geysers. (Figs. 16 and 17.) 

Between one of the largest oblong mounds and the base of the upper 
terrace, there is a kind of a valley-like interval, which has once been the 
center of much activity, but at the present time there are numerous 
small jets from which the water is thrown to the height of 2 to 4 feet. 
But it is to the wonderful variety of exquisitely delicate colors that this 
picture owes the main part of its attractiveness. The little orifices from 
which the hot water issues are beautifully enameled with the porcelain- 
like lining, and around the edges a layer of sulphur is precipitated. As 
the water flows along the valley, it lays down in its course a pavement 
more beautiful and elaborate in its adornment than art has ever yet 
conceived. The sulphur and the iron, with the green microscopic vege- 
tation, tint the whole with an illumination of which no decoration-painter 
has ever dreamed. From the sides of the oblong mound, which is here 
from 30 to 50 feet high, the water has oozed out at different points, 
forming small groups of the semicircular, step-like basins. (Fig. 18.) 

Again, if we look at the principal group of springs from the high 
mound above the middle terrace, we can see the same variety of brilliant 
coloring. TheVonderful transparency of the water surpasses anything 
of the kind I have ever seen in any other portion of the world. The 
sky, with the smallest cloud that flits across it, iS reflected in its clear 
depths, and the ultramarine colors, more vivid than the sea, are greatly 
heightened by the constant, gentle vibrations. One can look down into 

CHIMNEY, Gardiner's river. 

Fig. 17. 




the clear depths and see, with perfect distinctness, the minutest orna- 
ment on the inner sides of the basins; and the exquisite beauty of the 
coloring and the variety of forms baffle any attempt to portray them, 

Fig. I 8. 


either with pen or pencil. And then, too, around the borders of these 
springs, especially those of rather low temperature, and on the sides and 
bottoms of the numerous little channels of the streams that flow from 
these springs, there is a striking variety of the most vivid colors. 1 can 
only compare them to our most brilliant aniline dyes — various shades 
of red, from the brightest scarlet to a bright rose tint ; also yellow, from 
deep-bright sulphur, through all the shades, to light cream-color. There 
are also various shades of green, from the peculiar vegetation. These 
springs are also filled with minute vegetable forms, which under the 
microscope prove to be diatoms, among which Dr. Billings discovers 
Falmella and Oscillara. There are also in the little streams that flow 
from the boiling springs great quantities of a fibrous, silky substance, 
apparently vegetable, which vibrates at the slightest movement of the 
w^ater, and has the appearance of the finest quality of cashmere wool. 
When the waters are still these silken masses become incrusted with 
lime, the delicate vegetable threads disappear, and a fibrous, spongy 
mass remains, like delicate snow-white coral. Although these springs 
are in a constant state of violent ebullition at different points in the 
basin, yet it will be seen on the chart that the temperatures are far 
below boiling-point, the highest being 162°. Owing to the thinness of 
the rim of the basin, and the heat from the steam, it was impossible to 
take the temperature except at the edges, and by no meaifs at the hottest 
portion; and the violent ebullition is undoubtedly due in part to the 
evolution of carbonic aeid gas. It is quite possible that the thermome- 
ter would have indicated the boiling-point (which at this elevation is 
about if it could have been placed in one of these centers of 



ebullition. Tlie grotto in tlie glen, (Fig. 19,) is a fine illustration of 
the beautiful decorations, and along the channels of the streams that flow 
from the vivid coloring is well displayed. From the sun)mit the stream 
is continually arising from a number of vents, each one of which is 
lined with sulphur. Quantities of steam are ever ascending from the 
springs, but on a damp morning the entire slope of the mountain is 
enveloped in clouds of vapor. 

The question of the an- Fig. 19. 

tiquityof these springs is 

one of great interest, and ; /^^ ""^^ 

yet, with all the evidence r-^^ ^ ^ - / / Ji 

before us, it is somewhat ^ ^ ) //' ' 

obscure. Ui)on the mar- 
gins of the mountain, high 
above the present position 
of the hot springs, is a bed 
of very white or yellowish- 
white limestone, 50 to 150 
feet thick, and appearing 
in the distance like very 
pure Carboniferous lime- 
stone. (Fig. 20.) It is reg- 
ularly stratified, and the 

jointing is complete, and grotto m the glen, white mountain hot spring. 

immense masses have fallen down on the slope of the mountain side. 
There is a belt a mile long and one-fourth of a mile wide, covered with 

Fig. 20. 


immense cubical blocks of the limestone 50 to 100 feet in each dimension, 



usually with the wedge-shaped end projecting upward, as if the mass 
had slowly fallen down as the underlying rocks were worn away by 
erosion. So thickly is this belt covered with these huge masses that it 
is with the greatest difficulty one can walk across it. Ir would seem 
that this bed must at one time have extended over a portion or all 
of the valley of Gardiner's River. Much of the rock is very compact, 
and would make beautiful building-stone, on account of its close texture 
and color, and it could be converted into the whitest of lime. If the 
rocks are examined, however, over a considerable area, they will be 
found to possess all the varieties of structure of a hot-spring deposit. 
Some portions are quite spongy, and decompose readily ; others are made 
up of very thin laminte, regular or wavj- ; enough to show the origin of 
the deposit without a doubt. But in what manner was it formed? 1 
believe that the limestone was precipitated in the bottom of a lake, 
which was filled with hot springs, much as the calcareous matter is laid 
down in the bottom of the ocean at the present time. Indeed, portions 
of the rock do not differ materially from the recent limestones now form- 
ing in the vicinity of the West India Islands. The deposit was evi- 
dently laid down on a nearly level surface, with a moderately uniform 
thickness, and the strata are horizontal. Since this group of strata 
was formed, the country has been elevated to some extent at least, and 
the valley of Gardiner's River has been carved out, so that the com- 
mencement of the period of activity of these springs must date back to 
a period merging on to, but just prior to, the present, probably at the 
time of the greatest action of the volcanic forces. 

We may now ask why these deposits are mainly calcareous, and what 
is the source of the lime. 

I have already given a brief account of the geological formations in 
the immediate vicinity. On the side of Gardiner's River, opposite the 
hot springs, there is a bluff wall extending about six miles, composed 
of 150 feet in the aggregate of Upper Cretaceous and Lower Tertiary 
strata, with some irregular intercalated beds of basalt. The river itself 
flows through a sort of monoclinal interval ; that is, the bluff wall just 
alluded to is formed of the outcropping edges of the strata, while on 
the opposite side or slope the lower beds incline in the same direction. 
Near the river some of the lower beds are Cretaceous, but they soon pass 
to the Jurassic and Carboniferous ; on the east side of the springs are beds 
of arenaceous limestone full of Jurassic fossils. We can then see that the 
vast thickness, of Tertiary and Cretaceous strata once extended across 
Warm Spring Creek, over the slope of the mountain occupied by the 
hot-spring deposit, and, probably, westward across the vast divide into 
the Missouri Valley. We have, also, clear proof that, underneath this 
calcareous deposit, there is at least a thickness of 1,500 feet of Carbon- 
iferous limestone. 

If the origin of the heat which so elevates the temperature of the 
waters of these springs is as deep-seated as is generally supposed, then 
the heated waters have ample play for their i)ow^er in dissolving the 
calcareous rocks beneath. There are several localities in the valley of 
the Yellowstone where the deposits are calcareous, but most of them 
are unimportant, and the springs themselves have entirely disappeared. 
If we divide the springs according to the character of their deposits, 
we shall find that there are two principal classes — those in which lime 
predominates, and those which have an excess of silica ; or calcareous 
and siliceous springs. We shall present this subject more fully in a 
subsequent portion of this report. 

In figure 21 1 have attempted to present an ideal section of the strata 



on Gardiner's Eiver. Upon the summit of the Tertiary and Cretaceous 
strata, at the right, is a bed of basalt. While passing by, under the 
river and beneath the 
calcareous deposit of the 
springs, are the Carbon- 
iferous limestones; be- 
neath all, we suppose, 
there is a great thickness 
of trachyte. We may 
also suppose that the 
meteoric waters pass 
up to the surface 
through the limestone, 
as shown in the section, 
cleaving the lime that is 
deposited on the way. 
This subject will be dis- 
cussed more fully in a 
future report. 

We have already spo- 
ken of the wedge-like 
ridge between the Yel- 
lowstone and Gardiner's 
Elvers, and the wall of 
Cretaceous Tertiary, and 
basaltic strata facing the 
hot-spring district. 
These consist of alternate 
beds of dark-brown clays 
and somber-gray sand- 
stone, some portions 
thinly laminated or com- 
pact like quartzite ; in- 
clination, east 10^. 
These beds extend up in 
their full force about 
three miles above the 
springs on the east side 
of the East Fork, where 
they become obscured by 
basaltic rocks and detri- 
tus. Masses of basalt 
have fallen down from 
the summit of the ridge 
into the valley below, in 
many instances obstruct- 
ing the current and ren- 
dering traveling difficult. 
About a mile above the 
springs, Gardiner's Eiver 
separates into three 
branches, wiiich we may 
call East, Middle, and 
West Forks. They take 
their rise high up in the 
divide that separates the 
lake basin from the valley below. I have estimated the length of these 


forks to be fifteen miles each. As we ascended the high ridge between 
the East and Middle Forks, we obtained a fine view of the surrounding 
country. Far to the southwest are fine lofty peaks covered with snow, 
and rising to the height of 10,000 feet. They form a part of the mag- 
nificent range of mountains that separates the Yellowstone from the 
sources of the Gallatin. From this high ridge we can look down into 
the chasm of the Middle Fork, which is carved out of the basalt and 
basaltic conglomerates to the depth of 500 to 800 feet, with nearly 
vertical sides. In the sides of this canon, as well as those of the East 
Fork, splendid examples of basaltic columns are displayed, as perfect 
as those of the celebrated Fingal's Cave. They usually appear in regular 
rows, vertical, five and six sided, but far more sharply cut than any I 
have ever seen in the West. Sometimes there are several rows, one 
above the other, with conglomerate between, usually about fifty feet 
high. Sometimes, however, these columns are spread out fan-like, as is 
shown in the figure. (Fig. 22.) 

The top of the canon is about 500 yards from margin to margin, but 
narrowing down until on the bottom it is not more than forty yards 

wide. At one point the water pours 
over a declivity of 300 feet or more, 
forming a most beautiful cascade. The 
direct fall is over 100 feet. The con- 
stant roar of the water was pleasant to 
the ear, and reminded us most strongly 
of a train of cars in motion. The pines 
are very dense, usually of moderate 
size, and among them are many open 
spaces, which are covered with stout 
grass, sometimes with large sage- 
bushes. Upon the high mountain hills 
the vegetation is remarkably luxuriant, 
indicating great fertility of soil. The 
detritus is usually very thick, and cov- 
BASALT AT LOW FALLS OH gardiner's RIVER, gi's Sb grcat portlou of thc surfacc, and 
this is made up mostly of degraded igneous rocks. Above the falls the 
rows of vertical columns continue in the walls of the canon, and they 
may well be ranked, with great fitness, among the remarkable wonders 
of this rare wonder-land. The lower portion of the caiion is composed 
of rather coarse igneous rocks, which have a jointage and a style of 
weathering like granite. 

South of the hot springs we ascended a round dome-like mountain, 
which rises 2,100 feet above them. From the summit we could look from 
thirty to fifty miles in every direction. To the north and west of us a 
group of lofty peaks were very conspicuous — over 10,000 feet above the 
sea, and covered with huge masses of snow. These peaks form a part 
of the range that separates the waters of the Gallatin from those of the 
Yellowstone. Farther on to the southward are the peaks of the head 
of the Madison, and in the interval one black, undulatory mass of pine, 
with no point rising over 8,500 feet above the sea. These might be called 
high plateaus, more or less wavy or rolling, interspersed here and there 
with beautiful lakes a few hundred yards in diameter ; and here and 
there a bright-green grassy valley, through which the little streams wind 
their way to the large rivers. In one of these lakes we saw the greatest 
abundance of a yellow water-lily like Nupliar advena. On the east side 
of Gardiner's Canon, and west of the Yellowstone, is a sort of wave- 
like series of ridges, one after the other, with broad, open, grassy iuter- 

Fig. 22. 



spaces, witli many groves of pines. These ridges gradually slope down 
to the Yellowstone, northeast. Far to the east and north is one jagged 
mass of volcanic peaks, some of them snow-clad, others bald and desolate 
to the eye. Far to the south, dimly outlined on the horizon, may be seen 
the three Tetons and Madison Peak — monarchs of all the region. A 
grander view could not well be conceived. The summits and sides of 
the mountain are thickly covered with fragments of dull-brown basalt ; 
but what seemed most strange were the rounded masses of black, very 
compact basalt, mingled with the less compact angular fragments, 
broken from the mountain side. How did these huge bowlders reach 
these lofty summits'? They are not numerous, and, at the iiresent 
time, the proofs of water having covered these mountain tops since they 
have attained their present elevation are not clear. It is quite possible 
they were lodged there prior to the period of its elevation. 

The three forks of Gardiner's River rise high up in the mountains, 
among the perpetual suows. They wind their way across a broad pla- 
teau covered mostly with a dense growth of pines, but with broad, 
open, meadow-like spots, which can be seen clearly from some high 
mountain peak, and lend a charm to the landscape. After gathering a 
sufiScient supply of water, they commence wearing their channels down 
into the volcanic rocks, which continue to grow deeper as they descend. 
Each one has its water-fall, which would fill an artist with enthusiasm. 
The West Fork rolls over a bed of basalt, which is divided by joi|itage 
into blocks that give the walls the- appearance of mason- work on a 
gigantic scale. Below the falls the river has cut the sides of the mount- 
ain, so that we can see a vertical section 400 feet high, with the same 
irregular joiutage. 

After exploring the Middle and West Forks we climbed up the steep 
sides of the canon of the East Fork, passed the i^icturesque cascade and 
basaltic columns, and finally reached the summit of the ridge which, 
separates the canon from Gardiner's River. The highest point of the 
ridge is 450 feet above the bed of basalt that forms the margin of the 
east wall of Gardiner's River. Beds of sandstone are here mingled 
with basalt in dire confusion. From this ridge the third canon is well 
shown. Among the ridges of sandstone and basalt, are several pretty 
lakes from two hundred to four hundred yards in length. These little 
lakes are really expansions of the drainage, and are usually in the 
synclinal troughs. East of the summit of the ridge the sedimentary 
beds assume a reversed dip from the mountains on the east side of the 
Yellowstone. We find, therefore, the Jurassic arenaceous limestones and 
sandstones, and the limestones of the Carboniferous, near the margins 
of the canon. On the summit of the ridge the basalt is quite coarse, 
and decomposes into a kind of sandy clay. I can only give a general 
idea of the geology of this region. The chaos is so great that it would 
occupy one entire season to unravel the singular structure, and then 
the results would be so meager of profit or instruction that they would be 
most unsatisfactory. The real thought involved in it is not difficult to 
abstract. The third canon is formed partly by erosion and partly hy 
upheaval, and the rocks which compose its walls are granitic and 
igneous. The basis rocks are the granitoid, while filling up the 
irregularities of the surface are the volcanic materials of various 
kinds. The same may be said of the lofty, rugged range of 
mountains on the east side of the river. A group of volcanic 
peaks of varied forms filled up the broad interval between the 
Yellowstone and the sources of the Big Horn. They vary in height from 
9,500 to 10,000 feet above the sea, and are grouped without the least 
regularity. The peaks themselves do not seem to be connected together 



along any line or axis of elevation, but each one, like a group of hot 
springs, seems to have been a volcanic vent which built up its own cone. 
The igneous rocks have been poured out over the metamorphic, plainly 
at different periods. The general mineral character of the igneous ma- 
terial is about the same, but the colors and textures are very variable ; 
some of them are coarse, decomposing easily ; others rough, angular, 
vesicular, or compact ; some red, purple, brown, black, &c. The study 
of the immense masses of basaltic conglomerate which cover the country 
everywhere, especially in the upper basin, affords the best opportuni- 
ties of ascertaining the different varieties of the igneous rocks in the 
country, for fragments of all kinds seem to have been included in the 
volcanic paste. 

After leaving Gardiner's Eiver we ascended the broad slope of the 
dividing ridge between that river and the little branches that flow into 
the Yellowstone. Below and above the entrance of the East Fork, im- 
mense bowlders of massive granite, considerably rounded, are a marked 
feature. One of them, partially rounded by water, is 25 feet thick and 
50 feet long, with a fracture directly through the middle. It is a mas- 
sive red feldspathic granite. The ridge of Carboniferous limestone, which 
is exposed on the west margin of the third canon, extends up in frag- 
ments for six or eight miles. It is very brittle and cherty. The high 
wavy ridge, which is about 9,000 feet above the sea, is composed of beds 
of steel-gray and brown sandstone, clays, and a calcareous clay, with nu- 
merous impressions of deciduous leaves ; vast quantities of silicified 
w^ood of greatest perfection and beauty are scattered all over the sur- 
face. Some quite long trees and stumps were observed by the party. 
The layers of growth were as perfectly show^n as in any of our recent 
woods. Upon the summit of the ridges or hills were beds of basalt as 
usual. We have, then, a chaos here which it would be impossible to un- 
ravel, except by tracing the formations from far distant points in their 
continuity. The detritus is so thick and upon this grews such a luxuri- 
ant vegetation, either grass or dense forests of pine, that the sediment- 
ary rocks are exposed only here and there over restricted areas. We 
know, however, that up to the Grand Canon, and up the East Fork, for 
fifteen miles, the Carboniferous, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary groups 
are represented more or less, although we can only catch glimpses of 
them at rare intervals. We were traveling through this region in the 
latter part of the month of July, and all the vegetation seemed to be in the 
height of its growth and beauty. The meadows were covered densely 
with grass, and flowers of many varieties, and among the pines were 
charming groves of poplars, contrasting strongly by their peculiar en- 
livening foliage with the somber hue of the pines. The climate was 
perfect, and in the midst of some of the most remarkable scenery in 
the world, every hour of our march only increased our enthusiasm. 

The climate during the months of June, July, and August, in this val- 
ley, cannot be surpassed in the world for its health-giving i^owers. The 
finest of mountain water, fish in the greatest abundance, with a good 
sup})ly of game of all kinds, fully satisfy the w^ants of the traveler, and 
render this valley one of the most attractive places of resort for invalids 
or pleasure-seekers in America. 

We will now descend the ridge in the more immediate valley of the 
Yellowstone near the entrance of the East Fork, and not far from the 
lower end of the Grand Canon. Our road is a rough one. The sediment- 
ary rocks were crumpled into high, sharp, wave-like series of ridges. 
From innumerable fissures, the igneous matter was poured out over the 
surface which cooled into basalt ; and from these vents was also thrown 
out, into the great lake, fragments and volcanic dust, which were arranged 



by tlie water and cemented into a breccia. Deep into these ridges the 
little streams have cut their channels in past ages, forming what should 
be called valleys, rather than canons, with almost vertical sides, with 
rocks cropping out here and there, covered mostly with grass or trees. 
These ravines, 500 to 800 feet deep, occur one after the other in great 
numbers, many of them entirely dry at present, but attesting the pre- 
sence and power of aqueous forces at no very remote period in the 
past, compared with which those of the present are utterly insignificant. 

Not until surface geology receives greater attention than it has done 
up to this time will we comprehend the vastnessof the agencies which have 
wrought out the wonderful results which we see everywhere around us. 
What were the forces that wrenched from the parent bed masses of gran- 
ite, from one ton to five hundred tons weight, rounded off the angles and 
lodged them upon the plains 300 to 500 feet above the channels of the 
priucipl astreams? Along the East Fork, for twenty miles above its 
mouth, on the west side, there is a sort of terrace about a mile in width, lit- 
erally covered with the granite bowlders which have been swept down the 
valley from a short distance above. The granitic rocks, of various textures 
and composition, are here exposed in full force. Hell-Roaring Mountain, 
at the entrance of the creek of that name, is a huge peak composed of 
stratified gneiss. Some of the strata, however, are 50 to 100 feet in 
thickness, massive red or gray feld spathic granite. Just opposite the 
entrance of the stream there is a splendid exhibition of black micaceous 
gneiss, inclining 14^ southeast. It seems to form a vertical wall on the 
right side of a little creek that flows into the Yellowstone from the west, 
while on the left side the entire mass of the hills, for miles in extent, is 
composed of the usual variety of igneous rocks. These incline in the 
opposite direction, northwest, 10^ to lo^; so that this small stream, now 
not more than 4 feet wide and 6 inches in depth, has, at some period, had 
sufficient power to cut its channel two hundred to four hundred yards 
wide, through the hardest rocks, 500 to 1,000 feet in depth, to the level 
of the Yellowstone, into which it flows. Hell-Roaring River is quite a 
large stream, rising high in the dividing range to the east, and flow- 
ing with tremendous impetuosity down the deep gorges, thus receiving 
its peculiar name. The mountains on either side are among the 
most rugged in the Yellowstone country, and seem to defy access. They 
come close down to the channel of the Yellowstone on the east side, 
so that traveling on that side is attended with great difticnlty. On tbe 
west side the broad, high, irregular, step-like terrace, or rather group 
of foot-hills, 300 to 800 feet above the bed of the Yellowstone, is quite 
easily traversed, and a road for wagons could be made without much 
labor. There are some steep hills Avhich, at the present time, appear 
formidable, but a careful exploration might bring to light a route that 
would avoid them mostly. 

After crossing the high divide, between the drainage of Gardiner's 
River and the group of little streams that flow into the Yellowstone on 
the west side, of which Tower Creek is the most conspicuous, we come 
to the region of wonderful ravines and canons. Layers of basalt have 
been poured out over the basis rocks, of whatever age they may be, at 
different periods ; at the same time vast quantities of fragments of basalt 
were cemented together with a fine volcanic dust. In the process of 
wearing out the ravines and caiions on either side, hundreds of curious 
pinnacles and columns, resembling groups of Gothic spires, were carved 
out of the solid beds of basalt and breccia. On the east side of the Yellow- 
stone, the sides of the mountain rise step-like, and, at different eleva- 
tions, the basalt has poured out and overflowed like the deposits of 
hot springs, except that the deposit is a dingy-black color. These out- 



flows seem to be so modern that it is doubtful if any important changes 
have taken place in the surface since they occurred. The river flows 
over its narrow rocky bed with great velocity. The East Fork enters the 
Yellowstone on the east side through a narrow granite caiion, and is a 
stream of considerable magnitude. In the spring season the quantity 
of water must be great, for the area drained by it is at least forty by 
twenty miles, where the snow falls in large quantities and remains a 
large portion of the year. About four miles above, Tower Creek enters 
the Yellowstone. On the west side, just at the lower end of the Grand 
Canon, within a few yards, is the mouth of Hot Spring Creek. Along 
the shores, the hot water is oozing and boiling up through the soft mud, 
covering the surface with its peculiar deposits ; one of the springs has 
a temperature of 127*^. A strong smell of sulphuretted hydrogen per- 
vaded the atmosphere. The banks of the Yellowstone, on both sides, for 
thirty to fifty feet up from the water's edge, have a most peculiar white- 
ness, with yellow portions, due to the deposits of old hot springs, which 
were very abundant here at some period. The few springs that remain 
are full of sulphuretted and carbonated hydrogen, forming a black car- 
bonaceous matter on the surface at times. There is also free sulphur, 
carbonate of lime, carbonate of iron, &c. It seems quite possible that 
the Carboniferous limestones do not exist beneath the basalts in this 



region, from the fact that there 
is not any great amount of cal- 
careous sediment. High up on 
the mountains, on the east side 
of the Yellowstone, 9,500 feet, 
there is ablufl' wall of limestone 
like that near Warm Spring 
River, evidently the same 
white compact rock formed 
from deposits of hot springs 
probably during or near the 
close of the Pliocene period. 
Tower Creek rises in the high 
divide between the valleys of 
the Missouri and Yellowstone, 
and flows about ten miles 
through a canon so deep and 
gloomy that it has very prop- 
erly earned the appellation of 
the ''Devil's Den." (Fig. 23.) As 
we gaze from the margin down 
into the depths below, the little 
stream, as it rushes foaming 
over the rocks, seems like a 
white thread, while on the 
sides of the gorge the somber 
pinnacles rise up like Gothic 
spires. About two hundred 
yards above its entrance into 
the Yellowstone the stream 
pours over an abrupt descent 
of 156 feet, forming one of the 
most beautiful and picturesque 
falls to be found in any coun- 
try. The Tower Falls are about 



260 feet above the level of tlie Yellowstone at the junction, and they are 
surrounded with pinnacle-like columns, composed of the volcanic brec- 
cia, rising fifty feet above the falls and extending down to the foot, 
standing like gloomy sentinels or like the gigantic j^iHars at the en- 
trance of some grand temple. One could almost imagine that the idea 
of the Gothic style of architecture had been caught from such carvings 
of nature. Immense bowlders of basalt and granite here obstruct the 
flow of the stream above and below the falls, and although, so far as we 
can see, the gorge seems to be made up of the volcanic cement, yet we 
know that, in the loftier mountains, near the source of the stream, true 
granitic as well as igneous rocks prevail. 

In the walls of the lower end of the Grand Canon, near the mouth of 
Tower Creek, we can see the several rows of columns of basalt arrayed 
in a vertical position, and as regidar as if carried and placed in the sides 
of the gorge by the hand of art. There is upon the surface a bed of vol- 
canic breccia, then a row of vertical columns, then the cement with hot 
spring deposits, then another row of columns. There are at least three 
different series of the columns, while above and below to the edge of the 
water are the volcanic and hot spring deposits. In the tongue that 
runs down between the junction of the East Fork and the Yellowstone, 
there is a singular Tjutte cut off from the main range, which at once at- 
tracts the traveler's attention. The basis or lower portion of the lutte 
is granite, while the summit is capped with the modern basalt, and 
the debris on the sides and at the base is remarkable in quantity", and 
has very much the appearance of an anthracite coal-heap. This hutte 
will always form a conspicuous landmark, not only on account of its 
position, but also from its peculiar shape and structure. Just below 
the junction of the East Fork, abridge was constructed across the Yellow- 
stone about a year ago, to accommodate the miners bound for the dig- 
gings'' on Clark's Fork. It was evidently built with a considerable amount 
of labor and boldness, for the river flows with great rapidity along the 
narrow, rocky channel, and is about 200 feet in width. I make mention 
of this bridge in this connection from the fact that it is the first and only 
one as yet which has been erected across the Yellowstone Eiver, and 
may in the future assume some historical importance. 

On the west side of the Yellowstone and west of Tower Falls, the 
basalt is quite massive, sometimes forming columns quite irregular in 
form and length, differing much from those on the opposite side. The 
benches and irregular step-like terraces along the Yellowstone on both 
sides, which are quite picturesque, are formed in part by the sliding 
down of masses of earth from the margins of the canon. In the imme- 
diate valley there is a recent drift deposit of sand and bowlders, often 
stratified, made at a long period subsequent to the carving out of the 
main channel through the volcanic rocks. The stratification and fine- 
ness of the sediment would indicate still water, or moderately so, at 

Soon after leaving Tower Creek, our road diverged to the westward of 
the Yellowstone Eiver and crossed the northern side of the rim of the 
basin i)roper, about a mile west of Mount Washburn, the highest peak in 
this portion of the range. We followed a well-worn path up the north- 
ern side, which led us up a slope so gentle that we were able to ride our 
horses to the very summit. The ground is everywhere covered with 
fragments of basalt and conglomerate, and at one locality there was an 
abundance of fine specimens of chalcedony with malachite, (green car- 
bonate of copper.) The volcanic rocks of this region contain some fine 
specimens of mineral forms, of which silica is the base. There are grades 
Qf exquisite beauty. Agates are common. 



The view from the summit of Mount Washburn is one of the finest I 
have ever seen, and although the atmosphere was somewhat obscured by 
smoke, yet an area of fifty to one hundred miles radius in every direction 
could be seen more or less distinctly. We caught the first glimpse of the 
great basin of the Yellowstone, with the lake, which reminded one much, 
from its bays, indentations, and surrounding mountains, of Great Salt 
Lake. To the south are the Tetons, rising high above all the rest, the mon- 
archs of all they survey, with their summits covered with perpetual snow. 
To the southwest an immense area of dense pine forests extends for one 
hundred miles without a peak rising above the black, level mass. A lit- 
tle farther to the southwest and west are the Madison Mountains, a lofty, 
grand, snow-capped range, extending far to the northward. Nearer and 
in full view, to the west commence the bold peaks of the Gallatin Eange, 
extending northward as far as the eye can reach. To the north we 
get a full view of the valley of the Yellowstone, with the lofty ranges 
that wall it in. Emigrant Peak, and the splendid group of moun- 
tains of which it is a part, can be clearly seen, and lose none of their 
marvelous beauty of outline, view them from what point we may. To 
the north and east the eye scans the most remarkable chaotic mass of 
peaks of the most rugged character, apparently without system, yet 
sending their jagged summits high up among the clouds. Farther dis- 
tant are somewhat more regular ranges, snow-covered, probably the 
Big Horn. But with all this magnificent scenery around us from every 
side, the greatest beauty was the lake, in full view to the southeast, 
set like a gem amid the high mountains, which are literally bristling 
with peaks, many of them capped with snow. These are all of volcanic 
origin, and the fantastic shapes which many of them have assumed 
under the hand of time, called forth a variety of names from my party. 
There were two of them that represented the human profile so well that 
we called them the "Giant's Face'' and "Old Man of the Mountain." 
These formed good landmarks for the topographer, for they were visible 
from every i^oint of the basin. 

Mount Washburn is composed entirely of the usual igneous rocks. 
On the summits are piles of very hard, compact basalt, cleaving into 
laminse, or in irregular blocks. All around on the sides of the mountain 
are immense accumulations of the usual volcanic breccia. The central 
mass was originally a volcanic cone, building up a crater with the com- 
pact basalt, but throwing out in the surrounding or enveloping waters 
the fragments or dust which were cemented together all around on the 
sides, sometimes reaching very nearly to the summit. On the southeast 
side of the mountain a distinct anticlinal interval or opening is seen in 
the breccia. The south side inclines east 25^, and breaks off abruptly 
near the Grand Canon, while the opposite side dips west 20^. Between 
this anticlinal and the cafion there is a bench five hundred feet below the 
summit of the mountain, which, I am convinced, formed the inner por- 
tions of the old crater, while the breccia composed the outer walls. To 
the southeast there is a grassy plateau ten to twenty miles in extent, 
immediately surrounded with dense forests of pine. We may say, in 
brief, that the entire basin of the Yellowstone is volcanic. I am not 
prepared to pronounce it a crater, with a lake occupying the inner por- 
tion, while the mountains that surround the basin are the ruins of this 
great crater j but, at a period not very remote in the geological past, 
this whole country was a scene of wonderful volcanic activity. I regard 
the hot springs so abundant all over the valley as the last stages of this 
grand scene. Hot springs, geysers, &c., are so intimately connected 
with what we usually term volcanoes that their origin and action 



admit of the same explanation. Both undoubtedly form safety-valves 
or vents for the escape of the powerful forces that have been gener- 
ated in tlie interior of the earth since the commencement of our pres- 
ent period 5 the true volcanic action has ceased, but the safety-valves 
are the tliousands of hot springs all over this great area. 1 believe 
that the time of the greatest volcanic activity occui^red during the 
Pliocene period — smoke, ashes, fragments of rock, and lava poured 
forth from thousands of orifices into the surrounding waters. Hundreds 
of cones were built up, fragments of which still remain ; and around them 
were arranged by the w^ater the dust and fragments of rock, the ejectamenta 
of the'se volcanoes, in the form of the conglomerate or breccia as we find 
it now. These orifices may have been of every possible form — rounded 
or oblong, mere fissures, perhaps, extending for miles, and building np 
their own crater rims as the hot springs build up their rounded, conical 
peaks or oblong mounds at the present time. It is not necessary to 
enter into the history and origin of either hot springs or volcanoes in 
this connection. The causes which have produced the phenomena here, 
either in the Pliocene period or the present, are the same all over the 
world, and have been favorite topics of discussion by men of science. 


We will now enter upon a description of the Yellowstone Basin proper, 
in which the greater portion of the interesting scenery and wonders is 
located. The term is sometimes applied to the entire valley, but the 
basin proper comprises only that i^ortion inclosed within the remarkable 
ranges of mountains which give origin to the waters of the Yellowstone 
south of Mount Washburn and the Grand Canon. The range of which 
Mount Washburn is a conspicuous peak seems to form the north wall 
or rim, extending nearly east and west across the Yellowstone, and it 
is through this portion of the rim that the river has cut its channel, 
forming the remarkable falls and the still more wonderful canon. The 
area of this basin is about fort > miles in length. From the summit of 
Mount Washburn, a bird's-eye view of the entire basin may be obtained, 
with the mountains surrounding it on every side without any apparent 
break in the rim. This basin has been called by some travelers the 
vast crater of an ancient volcano. It is probable that during the Plio- 
cene period the entire country drained by the sources of the Yellow- 
stone and the Columbia was the scene of as great volcanic activity as 
that of any i)ortion of the globe. It might be called one vast crater, 
made up of thousands of smaller volcanic vents and fissures, out of 
which the fluid interior of the earth, fragments of rock, and volcanic 
dust were poured in unlimited quantities. Hundreds of the nuclei or 
cores of these volcanic vents are now remaining, some of them rising to 
a height of 10,000 to 11,000 feet above the sea. Mounts Doane, Lang- 
ford, Stevenson, and more than a hundred other peaks may be seen 
from any high point on either side of the basin, each of which formed a 
center of effusion. Indeed, the hot springs and geysers of this region, 
at the present time, are nothing more than the closing stages of that 
wonderful period of volcanic action that began in Tertiary times. In 
other words, they are the escape-pipes or vents for those internal forces 
which once were so active, but are now continually dying out. 

* An abstract of Chapters V and VI was published in the February and March- num- 
bers of the American Journal of Science. 

6 a s 




The evidence is clear that ever since the cessation of the more power- 
ful volcanic forces these springs have acted as the escape-pipes, but 
have continued to decline down to the present time, and will do so in the 
future, until they cease entirely. The charts accompanying this report 
will enable the reader to form a clear conception of the position and 
number of the most important springs in this basin, but an equal num- 
ber of the dead and dying have been omitted. We may therefore con- 
clude that the present system of hot springs and geysers is only a feebler 
manifestation of those remarkable internal forces of the earth, which 
were so wonderfully intensilied during the periods of volcanic activity, 
that they really present for our study a miniature form of volcanism. 
Even at the present time there are connected with them manifesta- 
tions of internal heat and earthquake phenomena which are well 
worthy of attention. While we were encamped on the northeast side 
of the lake, near Steamboat Point, on the night of the 20th of July, 
we experienced several severe shocks of an earthquake, and these 
were felt by two other parties, fifteen to twenty-five miles distant, 
on difi'erent sides of the lake. We were informed by mountain-men 
that these earthquake shocks are not uncommon, and at some sea- 
sons of the year very severe, and this fact is given by^ the Indians 
as the reason why they seldom or never visit that portion of the 
countrj^ I have no doubt that if this part of the country should 
ever be settled and careful observations made, it will be found that 
earthquake shocks are of very common occurrence. 

Our trail passed over the rim of tlie basin on the south side of Mount 
Washburn, and the lowest point was 8,774 feet. In crossing this divide or 
rim, I saw, on the north side, some of the somber argillaceous sandstones 
that contain the deciduous leaves between Gardiner's River and Tower 
Creek. After passing the divide" we descended the almost vertical sides 
of the rim into the valley of Cascade Creek, at the level of 7,787 feet, or 
about 1,000 feet below the " divide.'^ Our trail was a tortuous one, to 
avoid the fallen timber and the dense groves of pine. The country im- 
mediately around the creek looked like a beautiful meadow at this sea- 
son of the year, (July 25,) covered with grass and flowers. Cascade 
Creek flows from the west into the Yellowstone, between the upper and 
lower falls. Just before it enters the Yellowstone, it flows over a series 
of ridges and breccia, making one of the most beautiful cascades in this 
region; hence the name of the little stream. Like all these rapids or 
falls, it is formed of the more compact basalt, resisting the wear of the 
atmospheric forces, while the breccia readily yields. As this little cas- 
cade is seen from the east branch of the Yellowstone, dividing up into a 
number of little streams and rushing down from ledge to ledge until it 
reaches the bed of the river, it presents a picture of real beauty. High 
up on Cascade Creek, almost a mile above its mouth, the channel is carved 
out of a kind of sedimentary volcanic sandstone, arranged in regular 
strata; most of it is so largely made up of worn fragments of obsidian 
and other igneous rocks that it might be called a pudding-stone. The 
natural sections in the channel of this creek aid us much in forming an 
idea of the extent of the modern lake deposit, which doubtless began 
in Tertiary times, and continued on up into or near the present period. 
The surface everywhere is covered with fragments of volcanic ' rocks, 
apparently quite modern, so that it presents that peculiar appearance, 
which 1 have often alluded to, like the refuse about an old foundry. 

But the objects of the deepest interest in this region are the falls 
and the Grand Cailon. I will attempt to convey some idea by a de- 



scription, but it is only Miiouj^h the eye tliat the mind can ^^atliei' 
anything- like an adequate eoneeption of them. As we ai)i)ioaehed 
the margin ol' the caiion, we could hear the suppressed roar of the falls, 
resembling distant thunder. The two falls are not more than one- 
fourth of a mile apart. Above the Upper Falls the Yellow^stone flows 
through a grassy, meadow-like valley, with a calm, steady current, 
giving no warning, until very near the falls, that it is about to rush over 
a precipice 140 feet, and then, within a quarter of a mile, again to leap 
dow^n a distance of 350 feet. Before proceeding further with a detailed 
description of the falls and canon, I may attenq)t to present what I 
believe to be the origin. For about a mile above the Upper Falls there 
is a succession of rapids in the river. The walls of the channel are not 
high, but are composed of massive basalt. Just along the Upper Falls 
there are five huge, detached blocks of basalt in and near the center of 
the channel. These show the force with which the water has rushed 
down the channel at some period. Just above the Upper Falls are two 
beautiful cascades, 20 to 30 feet high, and at the east one, the rocks so 
wall in the channel that it is not much more than 100 feet wide, and the 
entire volume of the water, which must form a mass 100 feet wide and 30 
feet dee}), rushes down a vertical descent of 110 feet. There seems to 
have been a sort of a ridge or belt of very compact basalt that extended 
across the channel, so hard as to resist successfully atmospheric powder, 
while below, the nearl^^ vertical walls, which are composed of clay, sand, 
and bowlders, mingled with hot-spring deposits, seem to have readily 
yielded, and thus the river has carved out its channel. From any point 
of viesv the Upper Falls are most picturesque and striking. The entire 
volume of water seems to be, as it were, hurled off of the precipice with 
the force which it has accumulated in the rapids above, so that the mass 
is detached into the most beautiful snow-white, bead-like drops, and as it 
strikes the rocky basin below, it shoots through the water with a sort of 
ricochet for the distance of 200 feet. The whole presents in the distance 
the appearance of a mass of snow-white foam. On the sides of the basalt 
w^alls there is a thick growth of vegetation, nourished by the spray 
above, which extends up as far as the moisture can reach. The upper 
portion of the walls of the canon on the east side is composed of a coarse 
volcanic sandstone and pudding-stone, perfectly horizontal, and below 
are loose variegated clays and sands. There is no doubt that this 
deposit forms a part of the bed of the ancient lake in its enlarged extent, 
and that this deposit was made on the rugged, irregular basalt surface. 
In the mean time, there were occasional outflows of igneous matter, and 
the hot springs were operating in full force. The lake basin w^as closed 
at the lower end of the range of mountains that form the rim, and the 
river gradually forced its way through this rim, forming the Grand 
CaQon, draining the lake basin, and the falls were the result. There is 
ail around the basin a sort of secondary shore in the form of a group of 
low\ pine-covered hills, varying in height from 8,500 to 9,000 feet above 
the sea, while the highest' ranges, 10,000 to 11,000 feet, constitute the 
primary rim. The lower hills are made up mostly of the old lake deposit, 
and are either Pliocene or Post-Pliocene, probably both. 

But no language can do justice to the wonderful grandeur and beauty 
of the canon' below the Lower Falls j the very nearly vertical walls, 
slightly sloping down to the water's edge on either side, so that from 
the summit the river appears like a thread of silver foaming over its 
rocky bottom j the variegated colors of the sides, yellow^, red, brown, 
white, all intermixed and shading into each other ; the Gothic columns 
of every form standing out from the sides of the walls with greater 



variety and more striking colors than ever adorned a work of buman 
art. The margins of the canon on either side are beautifully fringed 
with pines. In some places the walls of the caiion are composed ot 
massive basalt, so separated by the jointage as to look like irregular 
mason-work going to decay. Here and there a depression in the sur- 
face of the basalt has been subsequently filled up by the more modern 
deposit, and the horizontal strata of sandstone can be seen. The de- 
composition and the colors of the rocks must have been due largely to 
hot water from the springs, which has percolated all through, giving to 
them the present variegated and unique appearance. 

Standing near the margin of the Lower Falls, and looking down the 
canon, which looks like an immense chasm or cleft in the basalt, with 
its sides 1^200 to 1,500 feet high, and decorated with the most brilliant 
colors that the human eye ever saw, with the rocks weathered into an 
almost unlimited variety of forms, with here and there a pine sending 
its roots into the clefts on the sides as if struggling vv^ith a sort of un- 
certain success to maintain an existence — the whole presents a picture 
that it would be difficult to surpass in nature. Mr. Thomas Moran, a 
celebrated artist, and noted for his skill as a colorist, exclaimed with a 
kind of regretful enthusiasm t hat these beautiful tints were beyond the 
reach of human art. It is not the depth alone that gives sucii an im- 
pression of grandeur to the niind, but it is also the picturesque forms 
and coloring. Mr. Moran is now engaged in trriusferring this remarkable 
picture to canvas, and by meansof askillful use of colors somethinglike a 
conception of its beauty may be conveyed. After the waters of the 
Yellowstone roll over the upper descent, they flow with great rapidity over 
the' apparently flat rocky bottom, which spreads out to nearly double its 
width above the falls, and continues thus until near the Lower Falls, 
when the channel again contracts, and the waters seem, as it were, to 
gather themselves into one compact mass and plunge over the descent 
of 350 feet in detached droi)s of foam as white as snow ; some of the 
large globules of water shoot down like the contents of an exploded 
rocket. It is a sight far more beautiful, though not so grand or impres- 
sive as that of Niagara Falls. A heavy mist always arises from the 
water at the foot of the lalls, so dense that one cannot approach within 
200 or 300 feet, and even then the clothes will be drenched in a few 
moments. Upon the yellow, nearly vertical wall of the west side, the 
mist mostly falls, and for 300 ieet from the bottom the wall is covered 
with a thick matting of mosses, sedges, grasses, and other vegetation of 
the most vivid green, which have sent their small roots into the softened 
rocks, and are nourished by the ever-ascending spray. At the base and 
quite high up on the sides of the canon, are great quantities of talus, and 
through the fragments of rocks and decomposed spring deposits may 
be seen the horizontal strata of breccia. (Fig. 24.) 

Before proceeding further, I might attempt to give what appears to 
me to be the origin of this wonderful natural scenery. This entire basin 
was once the bed of a great lake, of which the lofty range of mountains 
now surrounding it formed the rim, and the present lake is only a rem- 
nant. During the period of the greatest volcanic activity this lake was 
in existence, though its limits, perhaps, could not now be easily defined ; 
but it was at a later period inclosed within the rim. The basis rock is 
a very hard, compact basalt, not easily worn away by the elements. The 
surface is exceedingly irregular, and filling up these irregularities is a 
greater or less thickness of volcanic breccia and the deposits of hot 
springs. Upon all this, in some localities, continuing up to the time of 
the drainage of this lake, were deposited the modern volcanic clays, sands. 


sandstones, and pudding-stones, wliicli reach an aggregate thickness of 
800 to 1,000 feet. Above the Upper Falls the Yellowstone flows over a 
hard, basaltic bed for sixteen miles from its outlet at the lake j there is 
then an abrupt transition from the hard basalt to the more yielding 
breccia, so that the river easily carved out a channel through it ; the 
vertical walls are clearly seen from below the falls, passing diagonally 
across the rim. The Lower Falls are formed in the same way ; the entire 
mass of the water fnlls into a circular basin, which has been worn into 

the hard rock, so that the rebound is one of the magnihcent fea- 
tures of the scene. Below the Lower Falls the sides of the cahon show 
the material of which it is mostly comi)osed. Where the river has cut 
its channel through the hard basalt, the irregular lissures, which un- 
doubtedly extend down, in some manner, toward the heated interior, are 
distinctly seen. Local deposits of silica, as white as snow, sometimes 
400 or 500 feet in thickness, are seen on both sides of the Yellowstone. 
These also are worn into columns, which stand out boldly from the nearly 
rertical sides in a multiplicity of picturesque forms. The basis material 



of the old liot-sprinj]j deposits is silica, originally as white as snow, bnt 
very mncli of it is tinged with every possible shade of color, from tlr* 
most brilliant scarlet to pink or rose color, from bright sulphur to tht' 
most delicate cream. There are portions of the day when these colors 
seem to be more vivid, and the rugged walls of the canon stand out more 
in perspective, so that while the falls fill one with delight and admiration, 
the Grand Canon surpasses all the others as the one unique wonder, 
without a parallel, probably, on our continent. W e may conclude, there- 
fore, from the point of view presented above, that while the canon has 
somewhat the appearance of a great cleft or eaiion, it is simply a chan- 
nel carved by the river out of predeposited materials, after the 
drainage of the old lake-basin. The walls themselves, it seems to me, 
explain the manner in which the connection was formed from the surfact? 
with the heated interior, for they are seamed with the irregular fissures 
or furrows which pass up through the basalt and connect with the old 
hot-spring deposits. And so it is with the walls of the canon, all the 
way to the mouth of Tower Creek ; sometimes we find the irregular ma- 
son-work of the basalt, then the breccia or the curiously variegated hot- 
spring formations, the whole covered to a greater or less extent with a 
later deposit from the waters of the old lake, which now appears in 
horizontal strata. 

As I have previously stated, the entire Yellowstone Basin is covered 
more or less with dead and dying springs, but there are centers or 
groups where the activity is greatest at the present time. Below 
the falls there is an extensive area covered with the deposits which 
extend from the south side of Mount Washburn across the Yellow- 
stone rim, covering an area of ten or fifteen square miles. On the 
south side of Mount Washburn, there is quite a remarkable group of 
active springs. They are evidently diminishing in power, but the 
rims all around reveal the most powerful manifestations far back in 
the past. Sulphur, copper, alum, and soda cover the surface. There is 
also precipitated around the borders of some of the mud springs a white 
effloresence, probably nitrate of y)otash. These springs are located on the 
side of the mountain nearly 1,000 feet above the inargin of the canon, 
but extend along into the level portions below. In the immediate chan- 
nel of the river, at the present time, there are very few springs, and 
these not important. A few small steam vents can be observed only 
from the issue of small quantities of steam. One of these springs was 
bubbling quite briskly, but had a temperature of only 100^. Near it is 
a turbid spring of ITO^. In the valley are a large number of turbid, mud, 
and boiling springs, vnth temperatures from 175o to 185^. There are a 
number of springs that issue from the side of the mountain, and the 
waters, gathering into one channel, tlow into the Yellowstone. The num- 
ber of frying or simmering springs is great. The ground in many places, 
for several yards in every direction, is perforated like a sieve, and the 
water bubbles by with a simmering noise. There is one huge boiling 
spring which is turbid, with fine black mud all around the sides, 
where this fine black earth is deposited. The depth of the crater of 
this spring, its dark, gloomy appearance, and the tremendous force 
w4iich it manifested in its operations, led us to name it the ''Devil's 
Caldron.'' Tht^re are a large number of springs here, but no true gey- 
sers. It is plainly the last stages of what was once a most remarkable 
group. Extending across the canon on the opposite side of the Yellow- 
stone, interrupted here and there, this group of springs extends for sev- 
eral miles, forming one of the largest deposits of silica, but only here 
and there are there signs of life. Many of the dead springs are mere 


basins, with a thick deposit of iron on the sules, lining the channel of 
the water that flows from them. These vary in temperature from 98^ 
to 120O. The highest temperature was 192^. Tlie steam-vents are very 
numerous, and the chimneys are lined with sidphur. Where the crust 
can be removed, we find the under side lined with the most delicate crys- 
tals of sulphur, which disappear like frost-work at the toncli. Still there 
is a considerable amount of solid amorphous sulpliur. The sulpliur and 
the iron, with the vegetable matter, which is always very abundant 
about the springs, give, through the almost infinite variety of shades, a 
most pleasing and striking picture. One of the mud springs, with a basin 
20 by 25 feet and 6 feet deep, is covered with large bubbles or puffs con- 
stantly bursting with a thud. Tliere are a number of high hills in this 
vicinity entirely composed of the hot-spring deposits, at least nine-tenths 
silica, appearing snowy-white in the distance; one of the walls is 175 feet 
high, and another about 70 feet. They are now covered to a greater or less 
extent with pines. Steam is constantly issuing from vents around the base 
and from the sides of these hills. There is one lake 100 by 300 yards, with 
a number of bubbling and boiling springs arising to the surface. Near 
the shore is one of the sieve-springs, with a great number of suuill per- 
forations, from which the water bubbles up with a simmering noise; 
temperature, 188^. This group really forms one of the great ruins. 

We will now return to the falls, and pursue our way up the valley of 
the Yellowstone to the lake. We wound our way among the dense 
pines that clothe the foot-hills, and, striking a game-trail, succeeded in 
avoiding the marshy bottoms of tiie river. Great nunibers of small 
springs seem to flow out of the sides of the hills, and distribute them- 
selves over the bottom, finally draining into the river. The deep snows 
which fall on the mountains, and continue tlie greater portion of the 
year, melt so gradually that these springs have a constant supply, aiid 
during the summer the grass and flowers give to the lowlands a meadows- 
like api)earance by the freshness and vividness of the colors. The river, 
by its widtli, its beautiful curves, and easy flow, moves on down toward 
its wonderful precipices with a majestic motion that w^oiild charm the eye 
of an artist. Some of the little streams which we crossed on our way 
up the river were full of fresh-water shells. Wherever the water stands 
for a time, the surface is covered with a yellow scum from the presence of 
iron. About five miles above the falls, on the east side of the river, we 
crossed a small stream which held a large amount of alum in solution, 
and on this account w^as appropriately named Alum Creek. This little 
stream is 2 feet wide and 2 inches deep, as clear as crystal, and, as it flows 
along through the rich grass, it w^ould not be noticed by the traveler that 
it differed from any other stream, except by the taste. Ever since descend 
ing into the basin we have met with great quantities of a kind of obsidian. 
It seldom occurs in a compact, amorphous, crystalline mass, like opaque 
glass, but as an aggregate of small amorphous masses, easily disinte- 
grating, so that the surface is covered with the small obsidian pebbles. 
The color is black or dull purplish-black. There are exposures here and 
there of the basalt also; some of it contains great quantities of rounded 
masses, like concretions, from the size of a pea to 10 inches in diameter; 
they seem to be little geodes, found in the igneous mass, lined inside 
with crystals of quartz. These masses are sometimes called "volcanic 
walnuts " by travelers. 

About ten miles above the lalls, on the east side of the Yellow- 
stone, we came to a most interesting group of hot springs, named, 
in Lieutenant Doane's report, the " Seven Hills." The (^liart wliich 
accompanies this report will show the location of the hills and the 



springs in relation to them. (Fig. 25.) The little stream on the east side is 
one of the sources of Alum Creek, and the springs that border show the 
origin of the alum that is held in solution in the waters, which hold their 
full strength until they flow into the Yellowstone. We approached this 

Fig. 25. 


group of springs on the west side, and the first spring that attracted our 
attention was located at the base of one of the white bills. It was a pow- 
erful steam-vent, with the strong, impulsive noise like a high-pressure 


engine, and hence its name of Locomotive Jet. The aperture is about 
6 inciies in diameter, a sort of raised chimney, and all around it were 
numerous small continuous steam-vents, all of which were elegantly 
lined with the bright-yellow sulphur. The entire surface was covered 
with the white siliceous crust, which gives forth a hollow sound beneath 
the tread ; and we took pleasure in breaking it up in the vicinity of the 
vents, and exposing the wonderful beauty of the sulphur-coating on tlie 
inner sides. This crust is ever hot, and yet so firm that we could walk 
over it anywhere. On the south side of these hills, close to tlie foot, is 
a magnificent sulphur-spring. The de|)osits around it are silica; but 
some places are wiiite, and enameled like the finest porcelain. The thin 
edges of the nearly circular rim extend over the waters of the basin 
several feet, yet the open portion is 15 feet in diameter. The water is in 
a constant state of agitation. The steam that issues from this spring is so 
strong and hot th^t it was only on the windward side that I could ap- 
proach it and ascertain its temperature, 197o. The agitation seemed to 
affect the entire mass, carrying it up impulsively to the height of 4 feet. 
It may be compared to a huge caldron of perfectly clear water some- 
what superheated. But it is the decorations about this spring that lent 
the charm, after our astonishment at the seething mass before us — the 
most beautiful scolloping around the rim, and the inner and outer sur- 
face covered with a sort of pearl-like bead work. The base is the pure 
white silica, while the sulphur gave every possible shade, from yellow to 
the most delicate cream. No kind of embroidering that human art can 
conceive or fashion could equal this specimen of the cunning skill of na- 
ture. On the northeast side of the hills, extending from their summits, 
are large numbers of the steam-vents, with the sulphur linings and de- 
posits of the sulphur over the surface. These hills are entirely due to 
the old hot springs, and are from 50 to 150 feet in height. The rock 
is mostlj^ compact silica, but there is almost every degree of purity, from 
a kind of basalt to the snow-white silica. Some of it is a real conglom- 
erate, with a fine siliceous cement inclosing pebbles of white silica, like 
those seen around the craters of some geysers. Although at the pres- 
ent time there are no true geysers in this group, the evidence is clear 
that these were, in former times, very i^ow^erful ones, that have built up 
mountains of silica by their overflow. The steam-vents on the side and 
at the foot of these hills represent the dying stages of this once most 
active group. Quite a dense growth of pines now covers these hills. 
They rise up in the midst of the plains, and from their peculiar white 
appearance are conspicuous for a great distance. At one point there is 
a steam-vent so hot that it is difficult to approach it, emitting a strong 
sulphurous smell, and within two feet of it there is a larger spring, boil- 
ing like a caldron. So far as I can determine, there is no underground 
connection ot any of the springs with each other. Sometimes the rims 
of these craters, as well as the inner sides of their basins, have a 
beautiful papulose surface, the silica just covered with a thin veil of 
delicate creamy sulphur. At this locality are some very remarkable 
turbid and mud springs, on the south portion of this singular group, 
as can be seen by reference to the chart. One of them has a basih 20 
feet in diameter, nearly circular in form, and the contents have almost 
the consistency of thick hasty-pudding. The surface is covered all over 
with puffs of mud, which, as they burst, give off a thud-like noise, and 
then the fine mud recedes from the center of the puffs in the most per- 
fect rings to the side. This mud-pot presents this beautiful picture ; 
and although there are hundreds of them, yet it is very rare that the 
mud is just in the condition to admit of these peculiar rings. The kind 



of tlll^^i is, of course, produced by the escape of the sulphureted hydro- 
gen gas through the mud. Indeed, there is no comi)arisoii that can 
bring before the mind a clearer picture of such a mud volcano than a 
huge caldron of thick mush. The mud is so line as to have no visible 
or sensible grain, and is very strongly impregnated with alum. For 
three hundred yards in length and twenty-live yards in width, the val- 
ley of this little branch of Alum Creek is perforated with these mud- 
vents of all sizes, and the contents are of all degrees of consistency, from 
merely turbid water to a thi(^k mortar. The entire surface is j^erfectly 
bare of vegetation and hot, yielding in many places to a slight pressure. 
I attempted to walk about among these simmering vents, and broke 
through to my knees, covering myself with the hot mud, to my great 
l)ain and subsequent inconvenience. One of the largest of the turbid 
springs has a basin with a nearly circular rim 20 feet from the margin 
to the water, and 40 feet in diameter. There are t^vo or three cen- 

Fig. 26. 



ters of ebullition ; temperature, 188°. We may say, in conclusion, in re- 
gard to this gronp, that while there is a great deal of activity in the 



springs at tlie present time, tlie remains of tlie dead springs cover tlie 
greater portion of the surfiice, and those which are more active present 
the evidence of far greater power in past times. 

From this point we proceeded to the sulphur and mud springs near 
the banks of the Yellowstone, about two miles above, in a straight line. 
In the interval we i^assed the remains of many old springs, but none 
above the ordinary temperature ; but the deposit seemed to cover the 
surface more or less. The old lake deposit is also quite well shown in 
the rather high, step-like hills which extend back for five miles from 
the river to the basaltic rim of the great basin. We pitched our camp 
on the shore of the river, near the Mud Springs, thirteen and a half 
miles above our camp, on Cascade Creek. The springs are scattered 
along on both sides of the river, sometimes extending upon the hill-sides 
50 to 200 feet above the level of the river. The chart will show the lo- 
cation of the principal ones. (Fig. 26.) Commencing with the lower or 
southern side of the group, I will attempt to describe a few of them. The 

Fig. 27. 


first one is a remarkable mud-spring, with a well-defined circular rim, com- 
posed of fine clay, and raised about 4 feet above the surface around, and 
about 6 feet above the mud in the basin. The diameter of the basin is 
about 8 feet. The mud is so fine as to be impalpable, and the whole may 
be most aptly compared to a caldron of boiling mush. The gas is con- 
stantly escaping, throwing up the mud from a few inches to 6 feet in 
height; and there is no doubt that there are times when it is hurled 
out 10 to 20 feet, accumulating around the rim of the basin. (Fig. 27.) 
About twenty yards distant from the mud-spring just described, is a sec- 
ond one, with a basin nearly circular, 40 feet in diameter, the water G or 
8 feet below the margin of the rim. The water is quite turbid, and is 
boiling moderately. Small springs are flowing into it from the south 
side, so that the basin forms a sort of reservoir. The temperature, in 
some portions of the basin, is thus lowered to 98°. Several small hot 
springs pour their surplus water into it, the temperatures of whi(?h are 
I8O0, 170<^, 1840, and 155o. In the reservoirs, where the water boils up 



with considerable force, the temperature is only 96°, showing that the 
bubbling ^vas due to the escape of gas. The bubbles stand all over the 
surface. About 20 feet from the last, is a small mud-spring, with an 
orifice 10 inches in diameter, with whitish-brown mud, 182°. Another 
basin near the last has two orifices, the one throwing out the mud with 
a dull thud about once in three seconds, spurting the mud out 3 or 4 
feet; the other is content to boil up quite violentl}^, occasionally throw- 
ing the mud 10 to 12 inches. This mud, which has been wrought in 
tbese caldrons for perhaps hundreds of years, is so fine and pure that 
the manufacturer of porcelain-ware would go into ecstacy at the sight. 
The contents of many of the springs are of such a snowy whiteness that, 
when dried in cakes in the sun or by a fire, they resemble the finest 
meerschaum. The color of the mud depends upon the superficial de- 
I)Osits which cover the ground, through which the waters of the springs 
reach the surface. They were all clear hot springs originally, perhaps 
geysers even ; but the continual caving in of the sides has produced a 
sort of mud-pot, exactly the same as the process of preparing a kettle 
of mush. The water is at first clear and hot; then it becomes turbid 
from the mingling of the loose earth around the sides of the orifice, 
until, by continued accessions of earth, the contents of the basin become 
of the consistency of thick mush,' and, as the gas bursts up through it, 
the dull, thud-like noise is produced. Every possible variation of con- 
dition of the contents is found, from simple milky turbidness to a stiff 
mortar. On the east side of the Yellowstone, close to the margin of the 
river, are a few turbid and mud springs, strongly impregnated with alum. 
The mud is quite yellow, and contains much sulphur. This we called a 
mud-sulphur spring. The basin is 15 by 30 feet, and has three centers 
of ebullition, showing that deep down underneath the superficial earth, 
there are three separate orifices, not connected with each other, for the 
emission of the heated waters. Just opposite this spring, on the west 
side of the river, is a singular vertical wnll of rather coarse basalt, which 
looks like huge mason-work, separated by the jointage into nearly rec- 
tangular blocks. The v,all is about 50 feet high, and is important in 

giving us an exi)osureof the basis rock 
of this region. The surface is mostly 
covered with a thick deposit of clay of 
modern origin ; but the lieated waters 
must pass a great distance through 
these igneous rocks, dissolving from 
tliem great quantities of silica and 
other chemical materials which we find 
so abundantly around the springs. 
The next interesting spring we called 
the Grotto. (Fig. 28.) A vast column 
of steam issues from a cavern in the 
side of the hill, with an opening about 
5 feet in diameter. The roaring of 
the waters in the cavern, and the noise 
of the waves as they surge up to the 
mouth of the opening, are like that 
of the billows lashing the sea-shore. 
The water is as clear as crystal, and 
the steam is so hot that it is only when a breeze wafts it aside for a 
moment one can venture to take a look into the opening. Froiu the 
tremendous roaring and dashing of the waters against the sides of the 
cavern, one would suppose that the amount must be great, but not 

Fig. 28, 




more than ten gallons an hour pass out of it in tlie little channel that 
leads from it. On either side of the cavern, where the steam strikes, 
there is a tliin coating of vegetation of a deep, vivid green. In the 
vicinity of these springs, various kinds of grasses, rushes, mosses, and 
other plants grow with a surprising luxuriance. Over the '•grotto" 
there is a thickness of about oO feet of stratified clay, with a fine texture. 
Located higlier up on the side of the hill, not far from the grotto, is the 
most remarkable mud-spring we have ever seen in the West. The rim 
of the basin is formed by the loose mud or chiy thown out of the orifi(;e. 
It is about 40 feet in diameter at the top, but tapering down to half the 
size, and is about 30 feet dee]). It 
may not im})roperly be called the 
Giant's Caldron. (Fig. 29.) It does 
not boil w ith an impulse like most of 
the mud-springs, but with a con- 
stant roar which shakes the ground 
for a considerable distance, and may 
be heard for half a mile. A dense 
column of "steam is ever rising, fill- 
ing the crater, but now and thei\ a 
passing breeze will remove it for a 
moment, revealing one of the most 
terrific sights one could well imagine. 
The contents are composed of thin 
mud in a continual state of the most 
violent agitation, like an immense 
caldron of mush submitted to a con- 
stant, uniform, but most intense heat. 
That it must have had its spasms of 
ejection is plain from the mud on the trees for a radius of a hundred 
feet or more in every direction from the crater, and it would seem that 
the mud might have been thrown up to the height of 75 or 100 feet. 
This ejection of the mud nuisthave occurred within a year or two, from 
the fact that small pines near the crater are still green, though covered 
with mud. Small pines 4 inches in diameter and 20 to 30 feet in height 
have been permitted to grow within 10 and 20 feet of the rim, and, 
therefore, the throwing of the mud to any distance from the crater must 
occur very seldom. A few of the trees near the crater, which were 
covered with the mud, were killed by the heat, but others that are lit- 
erally festooned with it, have only the small branches and leaves de- 
stroyed. All the indications around this most remarkable caldron 
show that it has broken out at a recent period ; that the caving in of 
the sides so choked up the orifice that it relieved itself, hurling the 
muddy contents over the living pines in the vicinity. The steam which 
arises from this caldron may be seen for many miles in every direction. 
There are a large number of springs all around, some boiling and others 
quiet, some of which are of great size and quite worthy of attention, 
but we will describe only one more in this group. At the south side 
there is a large basin, 200 by 300 feet, containing within the rim three 
boiling springs. The two smaller ones on the south side of the rim 
are separated from each other by a partition of about 4 feet, and 
are mud-springs, and boil up in the centers at this time 6 or 8 inches. 
Their basins are 10 and 20 feet in diameter. The third basin is the 
largest, with a rim 30 by 50 feet, and is a true geyser ; when not in oper- 
ation, the fine mud settles to the bottom and the water becomes clear. 
This is constantly but moderately agitated, not sufficiently to stir up the 

Fig. 29, 




mud at the bottom. A channel has been formed 8 feet deep through 
the fine clay, which carries the surplus water from the crater to the river. 


This is a true intermittent spring. July 28 and 29 it played several 
times, throwing the water to theheight of 20 to 30 feet. (Fig. 30.) The 



impression among the mountain-men was, that this is a periodic spring, and 
played once in six hours precisely. In order to tost this belief, 1 directed 
my assistiint, Mr. Campbell Carrington, with one non-coniniissioried ofti- 
cer of the escort, to return from our camp on the, and note niinnteley 
the movements of this spring for twenty four hoars in succession. The 
following interesting report was made by Mr. Carriugton : 

"We arrived at the mud-geysers ten minutes after 9 o'(dock a. m., 
July 1. The pool was calm, with the exception of the littic boiling bub- 
bles that are always on its sur- 
face. In circumference it 
measures nearly 100 feet. 
While selecting a place to 
camp, unsaddling our horses, 
&c., we heard a loud, hissing 
noise, as an escape of steam. 
Hurrying to the geyser, I saw 
a wave about three feet in 
height rise and die away to the 
left 5 three similar ones fol- 
lowed in quick succession. It 
then, with a dull, heavy sound, 
accompanied by dense col- 
umns of steam, suddenly burst 
up to the height of 20 feet. It 
continued in action for the 
space of fifteen minutes, when 
it ceased flowing as suddenly 
as it had commenced. The av- 
erage height of this flowing was 
about 15 feet, although some 
jets reached fully 30. Five 
minutes after the eruption, the 
pool measured 25 feet in cir- 
cumference and 3 in depth, 
where before it was 100 feet in 
circnmference and 11 in depth. 
Ten minutes after (at 9.45 a. 
m.) I noticed that it was slowly 
commencing to rise aga'in. It 
continued to do so until twen- 
ty minutes after one, (1.20 p. 
m.,) when it began to boil near 
the center, a black formation 
making a ring around the boil- 
ing part. This boiling gradu- 
ally increased in violence, last- 
ing twenty minutes; it then suddenly stopped, j'.nd a wave 2 or 3 feet 
in height arose, dying away to the left, aiid the flowing then took i>lace 
as before described. Average height of this flowing, 15 feet ; deration, 
20 minutes. 

" This rising, falling, and overflowing took place eight times in twenty- 
four hours, t-he circumstances connected with each one being almost 
exactly the same. Appended below is a table of the time and length of 
flowings : 

" Time of fMicincis. 

"Arrived at 9.10 a. m. 

" First flowing, 9.20 a. m. to 9.35 a. m. j length, 15 minutes. 



" Second flowing, 1.30 p. m. to 1.50 p. m. ; length, 20 minutes. 

"Third flowing, 5 p. m. to 5.15 j). ni. ; length, 15 minutes. 

" Fourth flowing, 8.30 p. m. to 8.50 p. m. ; length, 20 minutes. 

" Fifth flowing, 12.30 p. m. to 12.45 p. m. ; length, 15 minutes. 

^' Sixth flowing, 4 a. ra. to 4.15 a. m. ; length, 15 minutes. 

"Seventh flowing, 7.30 a. m. to 7.45 a. m. ; length, 15 minutes. 

"Eighth flowing, 11 a. m. to 11.10 a. ni. ; length, 10 minutes. 

" Total length of time, 20 hours. Aggregate time of flowings, 3 hours 
and 15 minutes. Average length of flowings, 15 minutes and 37 ^ 

On the 28th of July we arrived at the lake, and pitched our camp on 
the northwest shore, in a beautiful grassy meadow or opening among 
the dense pines. The lake lay before us, a vast sheet of quiet water, of a 
most delicate ultramarine hue, xone of the most beautiful scenes I have 
ever beheld. (Fig. 31.) The entire party were filled with enthusiasm. The 
great object of all our labors had been reached, and we were amply paid 
for all our toils. Such a vision is worth a lifetime, and only one of such 
marvelous beauty will ever greet human eyes. From whatever j^oint of 
view one may behold it, it presents a unique picture. We had brought up 
the frame- work of a boat 12 feet long and 3J feet wide, which we covered 
with stout ducking, well tarred. On the morning of the 29th, Messrs. 
Stevenson and Elliott started across the lake in the Anna, the first 
boat ever launched on the Yellowstone, and explored the nearest island, 
which we named after the principal assistant of the expedition, who was 
undoubtedly the first white man that ever placed foot upon it. 

Our little bark, which is well shown in figure 32, whose keel was the 
first to plow the waters of the most beautiful lake on our continent. 
Fig. 3 2. and which must now become 

historical, was named by Mr. 
Stevenson in compliment to 
Miss Anna L. Dawes, the 
amiable daughter of Hon. H. 
L. Dawes. My whole party 
were glad to manifest, by this 
slight tribute, their gratitude 
to the distinguished states- 
man, whose generous sympa- 
thy and aid had contributed 
so much toward securing the 
appropriation which enabled 
them to explore this marvel- 
ous region. 

Usually in the morning the 
surface of the lake is calm, but 
toward noon and alter, the 
waves commence to roll, and 

THE ^''anna." thewhite caps rise high, some- 

times four or five feet. Our little boat rode the waves well ; but when 
a strong breeze blew, the swell was too great, and we could only venture 
along the shore. This lake is about twenty-two miles in length from 
north to south, and an average of ten to fifteen miles in width from east 
to west. It has been aptly compared to the human hand ; the northern 
portion would constitute the palm, while the southern prolongations or 
arms might represent the fingers. The map itself, which shows all the 
soundings, will best convey to the eye of the reader its peculiar form. 
There are some of the most beautiful shore-lines along this lake that I 



ever saw. Some of the curves are as perfect as if drawn by the hand 
of art. Our little boat performed most excellent service-. A suitable 
frame- work was fastened in the stern for the lead and line, and with the 
boat, a sj^stem of soundings was made that gave a very fair idea of the 
average depth of the lake. The greatest depth discovered was 300 feet. 
It is fed by the snows tbat ftdl upon the lofty ranges of mountains that 
surround it on every side. The water of the lake has at all seasons 
nearly the temperature of cold spring-water. The most accomplished 
swimmer could live but a short time in it; the dangers attending 
the navigation of such a lake in a small boat, are thereby greatly in- 
creased. The amount of vegetable matter in the lake is enormous. At 
certain seasons of the year, the waves throw upon the shore a windrow 
of drifted vegetation. Frequently, after a strong wind, the water of the 
entire border of the lake for several yards from the shore will be filled 
with minute fragments of vegetation broken by the waves, rendering 
the water quite impure. Several species of plants grow far out into .the 
deep waters, and I have seen them growing thickly on the rocks at the 
bottom 10 to 20 feet in depth. We were able to discover but one species 
of fish in the lake, and that was trout, weighing from two to four 
pounds each. Most of them are infested with a peculiar intestinal worm, 
which has been described by Dr. Leidy, in a subsequent portion of this 
report, as a new species, under the name of JDibothrium cordiceps. 
I directed Mr. Campbell Carrington, naturalist to the expedition, to pre- 
pare the following notes on this subject: 

The Trout of Yellowstone Lake. — ' 'Although I searched with 
diligence and care in the neighboring streams and waters around the 
Yellowstone Lake, 1 was unable to find any other species of fish except 
the salmon-trout; their numbers are almost inconceivable; average 
weight, one pound and a half; color, a light-gray above, passing into a 
light-yellow below ; the fins, all except the dorsal and caudal, vary from 
a bright- yellow to a brilliant orange, they being a dark-gray and heavily 
spotted. A curious fact, and one well worthy of the closest attention 
of an aspiring icthyologist, is connected with these fish, namely, that 
among their intestines, and even interlaced in their solid flesh, are 
found intestinal worms, varying in size, length, and thickness, the 
largest measuring about six inches in length. On cutting one of these 
trout open, the first thing that attracts your attention, are small oleagin- 
ous-looking spots clinging to the intestines, which, on being pressed 
between the fingers, break and change into one of these worms, small, 
it is true, but nevertheless perfect in its formation. From five or six, 
up to forty or fifty will be found in a trout, varying, as I said before, in 
size, the larger ones being found in the solid flesh, through which they, 
work their way, and which, in a very short while, becomes almost pu- 
trid. Their number can generally be estimated from the appearance ot 
the fish itself; if many, the trout is extremely poor in flesh, the color 
changes from the healthy gray to a dull pale, it swims lazily near the 
top of the water, losing all its shyness and fear of man ; it becomes 
almost savage in its appetite, biting voraciously at anything thrown in 
the water, and its flesh becomes soft and yielding. If, on the other 
hand, there are few or none, the flesh of the fish is plump and solid, 
and he is quick and sprightly in all his motions. I noticed that it was 
almost invariably the case when a trout had several scars on the out- 
side of his body that it was free from these worms, and I therefore took 
it for granted that the worms finally worked their way. through the 
body, and the flesh, on healing up, leaves the scars on the outside ; the 
trout, in a short while, becomes plump and healthy again. The only 
7 G s 



way that I cau account for the appearance of these worms is, that the 
fish swallows certain bugs or insects, and that the larvse formed from 
them gradually develop into the full-grown intestinal worm. But even 
if this explanation of their appearance was received, does it not seem a 
little strange that while all the fish above the Upper Falls are more or 
less aftected by them, that below and even between the Upper and 
Lower Falls such a thing as wormy trout is never heard of. Being 
unable, with my limited knowledge of ichthyology, to arrive at any 
definite conclusion in regard to their appearance, I submit the above 
facts to those who are more learned than myself in this most interesting 
branch of natural history." 

I will not, in this place, present a detailed description of this wonder- 
ful lake, but simply notice it in general terms. As we proceed from 
point to point around its borders, its most prominent features will be 
described. We regard the lake-basin as due in part to erosion. All 
along its margin are high banks and terraces, composed of a modern 
stratified deposit, passing up into an aggregation of sand, pebbles, &c., 
which is not unfrequently cemented into a tolerably firm conglomerate. 
These deposits, which are made up of eroded volcanic rocks, have in 
some instances the white appearance and somewhat the composition of 
Pliocene clays, marls, and sands of the other lake-basins along the Mis- 
souri and the Lower Yellowstone. In the northern portion of the basin, 
these deposits reach a thickness of 300 to COO feet, and must be of the 
later Pliocene era and even extending down to the present time. The two 
lakes were then connected, although probably never completely united. 
The belt of mountains that separated them was about four miles in 
width. I have estimated that, since the period of volcanic activity, the 
depth of the lake has been about 500 feet greater than at present, the 
shore-lines being then high upon the side of the surrounding moun- 
tains. During the time of the greatest volcanic action, the waters 
must have covered the loftiest peaks ; for many of them are composed 
of the breccia or conglomerate in a regularly stratified condition. This 
breccia surrounds the highest volcanic cones or nuclei, as Mounts 
Doaue, Stevenson, &c. The area occupied by the lake is now gradu- 
ally but very slowly diminishing. Our course around the lake was 
along the west side, from the outlet of the Yellowstone. Our purpose 
was to make a careful topographical and geological survey of the shore- 
line, to note every bay or indentation, and every little stream that 
poured its waters from the surrounding mountains. Messrs. Elliott 
and Carrington made a careful topographical and pictorial chart of the 
shore-lines as well as the islands from our boat, so that it is hardly 
possible for the work to have been made more complete. The imme- 
diate lake shores are paved with the volcanic rocks which form the rim 
that surrounds it. Fragments of obsidian prevail, but there are great 
quantities of the breccia and trachyte also. The immediate rim of the 
basin on the west side is marked by a peculiar series of step-like 
ridges, which are not continuous for long distances, but appear to be 
the result of slides. The surface waters from the snows have doubt- 
less gradually undermined vast portions of the mountain sides, and 
they have fallen down at different levels, leaving between the detached 
mass and the parent mountain a depressed interval of greater or less 
width, in which there is a meadow-marsh or small lake. These steps 
or terraces are covered with a dense growth of pines ; and even on 
the sides of the mountains, which are so steep that it was impossi- 
ble to ascend them with our animals, small groups of pines cling 
to the thin soil. On account of the almost vertical sides of this 



Fig. 33 

mouutain, and the rounded form of the siiiiimit, it lias receiv^ed the 
uaiiie of the Elephant's Back. Obsidian, volcanic breccia, and trachyte 
constitute the varieties of rocks for the most part. The general 
elevation is abont 10,000 feet. There are no streams of any size flow- 
ing into the lake on the west side, and therefore there are no depres- 
sions of any importance in the rim that would form passes over tlie 
divide. It is around the lake and among the mountains that border it 
that we enconnter the most formidable impediments to traveling. The 
autumnal firessweep among the dense pineforests, and the winds then lay 
them down in every possible direction. Sometimes a perfect net- work, 6 feet 
in height, is formed of these tall pines, which are 100 to 150 feet in length, 
and it was with the utmost difficulty that we could thread our tortuous 
way among them. We attached a pair of shafts 
to the fore-wheels of one of our ambulances for 
the odometer, and these were probobly the first 
wheels that ever were taken into this little-known 
region. The labor of taking this single pair of 
wheels over such a country was extremely great, 
both for the man who managed them and the 
animal that drew them. Sometimes this fallen 
timber will extend from five to ten miles con- 
tinuously. (Fig. 33.) We adopted the plan of 
making permanent camps at dilferent points 
around the lake while explorations of the country- 
in the vicinity were inade. Our second camp 
was pitched at the hot springs on the southwest 

arm. This i)osition 
commanded one of 
the finest views of 
the lake and its sur- 
roundings. \Yhile 
the air was still, 
scarcely a ripple 
could be seen on 
the surface, and the 
varied hues, from 
the most vivid 
green shading to 
ultramarine, p re- 
sented a picture 
that woukl have 
stirred the enthu- 
siasm of the moi^t 
fastidious artist. 
Sometimes in tlie 
latter portion of the 
day a strong wind 
woukl arise, arous- 
ing this calm sur- 
face into waves like 
the sea. ^^'ear our 
camp there is a 
thick deposit of the 
silica, which has been worn by the waves into a bluff wall 25 feet 
high above the water. It must haA^e originally extended far out 
into the lake. The belt of springs at this place is about three miles 





long and half a mile wide. The deposit now can be seen far out in the 
deeper portions of the lake, and the bubbles that arise to the surface in 
various places indicate the x^resence at the orifice of a hot spring 
beneath. Some of the funnel-shaped craters extend out so far into the 
lake that the members of our party stood upon the silicious mound, 
extended the rod into the deeper waters, and caught the trout and 
cooked them in the boiling spring without removing them from the 
hook. These orifices, or chimneys, have no connection with the waters 
of the lake. The hot fumes coming up through fissures extending down 
toward the interior of the earth are confined within the walls of the 


orifice, which are mostly circular 
and beautifully lined with delicate 
porcelain. Figure 34 exhibits a 
tine cross-section of one of these 
funnel-shaped basins. Wherever 
the heated water issues from ori- 
fices at the bottom of the lake the 
temperature is changed. The 
deposit of silica along the shore 
has been built up in extremely 
thin layers, or laminfe, never more 
than the sixteenth of an inch in 
thickness. The shore, for several 
yards in width, is covered to a 
considerable thickness with the 


walking over, it seems like treading on the broken fragments of washed 
shells along the sea-shore. Much of the debris has been cemented 
together, so that there are large masses scattered around, like the 
Florida coquina. 

The question will arise as to the time that must have elapsed during 
the deposition of this thick bed of silica. We may take the position 
that no new groups of springs break out, or have done so in modern 
times. Isolated springs connected with groups may form new openings, 
however. We may, therefore, start from the period of the cessation of 
the volcanic forces of this region, and trace the history down to the 
present time. Very numerous groups have gone through with their 
period of activity, and now nothing but a mass of ruins is left. It is 
quite possible that this group mani- 
fested its greatest power when the 
lake extended all over the belt. The 
waters of the lake have undoubtedly 
receded from the area occuj)ied by 
this belt of springs within a compara- 
tively recent period. We may say that 
the deposition of the beds, so far as 
is shown by any evidence we can 
gather at this time, has probably oc- 
cupied one or two thousand years. 

The springs of this group are very 
numerous, of great variety and inter- 
est, but there are no true geysers. 
Some of these are what I would call 
pulsating springs ; that is, the water 
rises and falls in the orifice with great reofularity once in two or three 
seconds. There are also a great number of mud-springs high up on the 




bank, where the orifice comes up, a considerable distance, through the 
soft superficial clays. The constant thud may be heard at our camp night 
and day from half a dozen of these mud-puffs. (Fig. 35.) They have built 
up a large number of small circular mounds about 2 feet high. These 
springs do not difier essentially from the others which have been described. 
There are some two hundred or three hundred in all, of all sizes, and of 
variable temperatures. Some of them are 50 feet in diameter, and when 
sounded with a lead showed a depth of 40 to 50 feet. One of them was as 
clear as crystal, and the funnel-shaped basin was 45 feet in depth. So 
clear was the water that the smallest object could be seen on the sides of 
the basin, so that, as the breeze swept across the surface, the ultramarine 
hue of the transparent depth in the bright sunlight was the most daz- 
zlingly beautiful sight I have ever beheld. There were a number of 
these large clear springs, but not more than two or three that exhib- 
ited all those brilliant shades, from deep-sea green to ultramarine, in 
the sunlight. The surface in some places is covered with a most singu- 
lar substance, which seems to have been precipitated by the overflow of 
the springs j it is very prettily variegated, every shade of green, yellow, 
or pink and rose color, but not as vivid as in some other localities. 
The deposit is about two inches in thickness, and breaks easily; it 
seems to the touch like jelly j it is largely vegetable, without doubt 
composed of diatoms. 

Underneath this silicious deposit, and along the shore of the lake on 
either side of this group of springs, are fine exposures of the strata of 
the modern lake deposit which I have so often alluded to. Sandstones, 
padding-stones, and indurated clays, all formed of decomposed vol- 
canic rocks, present fine exposures. They extend high up on the bor- 
ders of the lake. Within half a mile of this camp there is a small 
lake, hidden among the dense forests, about a mile in length, and half ^ 
a mile wide, and i^erhaps 30 or 40 feet higher than the main lake. It 
seems to occupy a depression, and, though entirely isolated at present, 
was once, no doubt, a portion of the great lake. I believe that the 
rivers and lakes, large and small, which are distributed among the 
dense forests around the lakes, are simply fragments, that have been 
cut off by the decrease of the area occupied by the old lake basin. 
There are a few hot springs near Heart Lake, one of which is a moder- 
ate-sized geyser, but the group is not one of much importance. 




On the morning of July 31, 1 detailed a small party from our camp on 
the northwest shore of the lake to make the examination of the far- 
famed geyser basin of the Fire-Hole Eiver. Mr. Schonborn, topographer, 
Mr. Elliott, artist, and Dr. Peale, mineralogist, accompanied me. We 
took a southwesterly course, intending to strike some of the branches 
of the Madison, and follow them down until we came to the springs. 
Having no guide, w^e became involved in the net-work of fallen timber, 
which at times threatened to obstruct our passage altogether. We 
traveled thirty-one and one-half miles that day, and at least twelve of 
them were among the fallen pioes, where we were obliged to wind our 
way wherever we could find the prostrate trees low enough for our 



mules to pass .over them. Now and then we would come out into an 
open glade, and start on at a brisk pace with fresh hope, when we 
would come again to a belt of this remarkable net- work of fallen pines. 
In all our journey we found but two kinds of rock, the black obsidian 
and the usual trachyte. At one point, soon after leaving camp, we 
found a most singular natural bridge of the trachyte, which gives 
passage to a small stream, which we called Bridge Creek. There 
is barely room across it for a trail about two feet wide, which is 
used only by herds of elk that are passing daily. The descent on 
either side is so great that a fall from it would be fatal to man or beast. 
Every few minutes we met with a group of dead or dying springs ; very 
few of them contain water at the present time, but steam was issuing 
from hundreds of vents. There was one locality where the deposit cov- 
ered several acres that presented a most attractive picture. The entire 
area was thickly covered with conical mounds of various sizes, ranging 
in diameter from a few inches to a hundred feet or more, and these cones, 
or hillocks, were full of orifices from which steam was issuing. All 
these little chimneys, or orifices, were lined with the most brilliant crys- 
tals of sulphur, and, when the heated crust was removed, we found the 
under side adorned in the same manner. The basis of the deposit was 
silica, as white as snow j but it was variegated with every shade of yel- 
low from sulphur, and with scarlet or rose color from oxide of iron. In 
the distant view the appearance of the whole country may be not un- 
aptly comi^ared to a vast lime-kiln in full operation. Most of the 
country passed over has been washed into rounded hills from 50 to 200 
feet in height, composed of the whitish, yellow, pinkish clays and sands 
of the modern lake deposits. This deposit seems to prevail, more or 
less, all around the rim of the basin, reaching several hundred feet above 
the present level of the lake. At another locality there was quite a 
large stream of hot water, formed by the overflow of a group of springs. 
One of the springs was constantly throwing up a column of water sev- 
eral feet. In this deposit there was a large amount of calcareous mat- 
ter, which is quite unusual in the Yellowstone Basin. We know, how- 
ever, that there are patches of the Carboniferous limestone here and 
there, remnants of the great series of strata that once covered the entire 
region. There is no doubt that if sufficient time was given to explore 
all the country about the sources of the Yellowstone, Missouri, and 
Snake Rivers, great numbers of other groups of springs of greater or 
less importance would be found, which, as yet, have never been seen by 
human eye. Fortunately for us, in our wanderings we struck the sources 
of the East Fork of the Madison instead of those of the Fire-Hole, and, 
in consequence, saw many fine springs and much interesting country 
which would otherwise have escaped our attention. 

Crossing the divide, we at once descended a steep declivity 1,000 feet 
into a valley about ten miles below the extreme source of the East Fork, 
and there camped for the night. The next morning, August 1, there 
was a heavy frost and ice a sixteenth of an inch thick. The ther- 
mometer frequently falls to 26^ during the months of July, August, and 
September. The East Fork, near the point where we struck it, is 
about 30 feet wide and, on an average, 10 feet deep. The water flows 
with great velocity, is quite warm, 60° to 70^, at one camp 78^, and is 
fed almost entirely by warm or hot springs. The entire valley, from its 
source to its junction with the Madison, extending over an area twenty- 
five miles long and an average of half a mile in width, is covered with the 
siliceous deposits of the hot springs, ancient or modern. The bed of the 
stream is lined with the white silica, and the valley itself looks like an 




alkali flat. The springs which issue from the base of the mountains on 
either side cause the bottom to be marshy or boggy, in many places 
rendering the traveling difficult. The plateau ridges which wall the 
valley in on either side rise to the height of 1,000 to 1,200 feet, and are 
covered with a dense growth of pines, not large, seldom more than 24 
to 30 inches in diameter, averaging not more than 10 inches, but rising 
as straight as an arrow to the height of 100 to 150 feet, and growing 
so thickly together that it was with great difficulty we could i)ass among 
them with our pack-animals. 

Among the foot-hills on the south side of the East Fork, about two 
miles above our camp, we found quite an interesting group of springs 
in a more or less active state. The basis material of the deposit is the 
silica, snowy white; but here and there, are quite extensive deposits of 
sulphur. AH the steam vents are lined with sulphur, and the little 
streams which flow along the valley with the aggregated waters are lined 
with the silica, or tinged with the most delicate cream color. There are 
perhaps thirty or forty springs in this group. I will note a few of them : 
1. A sulphur spring, 128<^. 2. Boiling spring with a circular basin 5 feet 
in diameter, 172°. 3. An impulsive spring that rises and falls about once 
a second with a jerking noise, 192°. 4. Throws out quite a stream 
of water, 12 inches wide and 2 inches deep ; the basin and channel 
are most delicately lined with sulphur, 182^. 5. A boiling sulphur 
spring, 189°. 6. A boiling spring, 199^. 7. -183^. There are a great 
number of steam vents with the orifices lined with sulphur. Underneath 
the crust also are found crystals of sulphur of a vivid yellow. We were 
not able to explore this stream to its source in the high plateau, but 
there are undoubtedly many of these groups of springs which we did 
not see. We followed the valley down to the Fire-Hole Basin, about six 
miles, and found scattering springs all the way. At one point we found 
the temperature of the w^ater of the creek 7 G^. It was remarkably clear, 
but it was insipid, like ordinary water that has been boiled. But the 
abundance as well as the luxuriance of the vegetation in and around the 
stream was almost marvelous. 

About two miles below our first camp, we passed a pretty little stream 
flowing down from the hills, with the channel lined with a delicate veil 
of creamy sulphur. We followed it up the valley a half a mile and came 
to another group of springs similar to those just described. There 
were a number of steam vents, with the same variety of delicate linings 
and shades of coloring. In 
some of the springs iron pre- 
dominates over the sulphur, 
and to these we gave the name 
of Iron Springs. In others 
the sulphur is in excess, and 
those we called Sulphur 
Springs. We passed springs 
of various kinds and temper- 
ature every few yards, on either 
side of the creek ; some depos- 
ited great quantities of iron, 
others sulphur, but most of 
them large quantities of both. 
The grades of coloring are as varied, though not as vivid. The basins of 
the springs are of a great variety of shapes; the tendency, however, is 
to a circular form. The basin of one spring is funnel-shaped, circular, 5 
feet in diameter, the water as clear as crystal, and 30 feet in depth. 2. 



With a funnel 2J feet in diameter, circular, tapering down to four inches 
ia diameter, with the sides lined with a delicate white^ enamel, like por- 
celain, a most beautiful spring, 170<^. 3. Oblong basin 5 by 15 feet, 158°, 
clear water, unknown depth. 4. Mud-spring, 12 inches in diameter, 
babbling like mush, 190"^. (Fig. 36.) There are many more which lie 
along the margin of the stream, the raised craters dotting the surface in 
many places. Some of them have a temperature as low as 112^, 116°, 
1250, and yet are constantly but slightly agitated by the bubbles rising 
to the surface, so that they might be classed as bubbling springs. Our 
second camp, on the East Fork, August 2 and 3, comes within the 
limit of the chart of the Lower Geyser Basin, just below the thickest 
group on the south side of the same stream. 

Early in the morning of the 3d, we commenced the survey of the group 
of springs near our camp. In the description of the springs of this 
entire basin, I will refer to the chart, and the course of our examina- 
tions may be traced with great ease. We described briefly each spring, 
ascertained its temperature, and located it topographically. In the 
morning the steam ascends from over a hundred orifices, reminding one 
at once of Mr. Langford's comparison of a factory village. 

I will here give short specific descriptions of the most important and 
characteristic springs of this group, and then pass on to the Fire-Hole 
Valley. 1. Clear water, bubbling, basin 8 feet in diameter, 4 feet 
deep, silica, iron, and som'e sulphur, 125^. 2. Bubbling up slightly, 4 
feet in diameter, 6 feet deep, no rim, 112o. 3. Silica and iron very 
abundant, 189^. 4. Bubbling most beautifully, basin 2 by 3 feet, with 
small steam orifices all around, extensive overflow of water, 176^. 5. 
Small but elegantly ornamented, 12 by 18 inches, silica and iron, 
with green vegetable matter. 6. Beautifully scalloped orifice or funnel, 
2 by 3 feet, the thin siliceous shell or crust projects over the funnel 
all around. 7. A large and beautiful spring, circular, 15 feet in diame- 
ter, 5 feet deep, with a thick deposit of iron all around the sides of the 
basin and on the surface where the surplus water flows, 1 25^. 8. Two 
springs near together, 142° and 134^, with much iron, with beautiful 
rim, G feet in diameter, with funnel-shaped orifices; second one with 
basin 10 by 15 feet, 10 feet deep, water clear as crystal. 9. Orifice 
runs straight down to an unknown depth, 4 feet in diameter, 169°. 
Leaves of trees in the basin are frosted all over with silica as white as 
snow. The delicate bead-like embroidery over the inner surface of the 
basin, as seen through the clear waters, is a marvel of beauty. 10. A 
scolloped rim, much ornamented, 197°, a kind of spouting geyser; the 
water rises up in the orifice, boils violently for a few moments, and then 
sinks down again. 11. Continually throws up its contents to 12 inches, 
192^. 12. Boils with a suppressed gurgle, boiling about 4 inches, 
shoots U13 at times 6 to 10 inches, a small locomotive spring. 13. The 
most beautiful of all in this group, 128^, main basin 10 by 15 feet, water 
marvelously transparent, of a most delicate blue. As the surface is 
stirred by the i)assiug breeije, all the colors of the prism are shown, 
literally a series of rainbows. We called the most delicately colored 
springs, Prismatic Springs. In the basin yet to be described, are several 
of these prismatic springs of marvelous beauty, and the striking vivid- 
ness of the colors. Lieutenant Doaue has aptly likened to the stage 
representations of " Alladin's Cave," and the House of the Dragon Fly." 
I was at once reminded of the wonderful coloring produced on the stage 
at one of the modern spectacular exhibitions, but nothing ever con- 
ceived by human art could equal the peculiar vividness and delicacy 
of coloring of these remarkable prismatic springs. The inner sides are 



covered with the snow-white silica, which in the beauty and complete- 
ness of the ornamentation surpasses the most intricate embroidery or 
frost-work. About a mile south of the East Fork, on the head of 
a little stream that flows into the Fire-Hole Eiver, is another of these 
beautiful prismatic springs, which w^e called the Eainbow Springs. 
A thin delicately ornamental rim of silica surrounds a basin 6 feet in 
diameter, filled to the margin with perfectly clear water, and as the morn- 
ing sunlight falls upon it, it reflects all the colors of the prism, 15Go. 

Before leaving the group on the East Fork I will allude to a few more 
that present some peculiarities. One spring keeps up an irregular spout- 
ing. It commences quite strong and violent for about a minute, throw- 
ing the water up about two feet, then it recedes into its crater with a 
kind of cavernous gurgle, 193o. Another small geyser operates con- 
stantly with a kind of subdued gurgle, 178o. Another gives forth a sup- 
pressed, low, continuous gurgle, like that of a kettle of boiling mush, 
193°. Not unfrequently there are three, and even five orifices in a single 
basin, totally unconnected with each other. Sometimes one of them 
will be perfectly quiescent while the others are in operation, and some- 
times all are going at the same time. Sometimes a dead or dying spring 
will be in close proximity to an active geyser, or a calm spring, with a 
temperature of 180° or 185°. Those springs that have a temperature 
of 180O and ui)ward, present the delicate bead or frost work of silica on the 
inner sides of the basin, but when it is diminished to 150°, or below, a 
thick coating of iron is deposited. Many of the old springs have much 
the appearance of huge tan-vats. In some of the basins the leathery 
lining of the sides becomes torn into fragments, which wave to and fro at 
every movement of the waters. These leathery masses, which are per- 
fectly fragile in texture, like pulp in the water, become hard like pieces 
of bark when dry, and are blown about by the wind. It is probably 
composed of diatoms aggregated together, as the vegetable scum upon 
a stagnant pool and covered, and perhaps the texture filled, with the 
particles of oxide of iron. Between the East Fork and the Fire- Hole 
Branch, a tongue or ridge extends down for a short distance from the 
main range, composed mostly of a gray or yellowish-gray siliceous ma- 
terial ; evidently an old hot-spring deposit. The trachytic basalt also 
crops out here and there, and, up in the higher portions of the mountains, 

Fig. 37. 


prevails altogether. The broken hills that make up this ridge show, 
however, that the history of these springs dates far back to the period 
of volcanic activity, for the spring-deposits — conglomerates, volcanic 
breccia, and trachyte— are all mingled together. High up in the hills, on 
the south side of the ridge, are a few springs, which, in the early morn- 
ing, send up large columns of steam. 
We then passed over an area of a mile in width, covered with a 



white crust, with a few scattered springs, mostly dead. The first 
group does uot differ materially from those described on the East Fork. 
The aggregated waters form a little stream, which flows westward into 

a small lake in a 
grove of pines; 
thence southwest 
into the Fire-Hole 
Eiver. (Fig. 37.) 
One of the springs 
we named the 
Thumping or Thud 
Geyser, from the 
dull, suppressed 
sound which is given 
off as the water rises 
and recedes. The 
orifice has a beauti- 
fully scalloped rim, 
with small basins 
around it, 185o. 
There is also a long 
fissure - spring, the 
opening 40 feet long, 
4 feet wide, and 10 
feet deep, clear as 
crystal, 175o. Also 
a large basin nearly 
circular, 50 feet in 
diameter, with a 
number of huge 
apertures, some of 
which throw the wa- 
ter up 30 feet. From 
one orifice the water 
shoots up continu- 
ally 4 to 6 feet. All 
around this geyser- 
group are several 
smaller springs con- 
tinually bubbling. 
There are also a 
number of reser- 
voirs once in an act- 
ive state. There are 
large numbers of 
small geysers, some 
constantly shooting 
up 2 to 10 feet ; oth- 
ers in a violent state 
of ebullition, rising 
and falling ; the lat- 
ter might be called 
pulsating springs. 
There is one beauti- 
ful spring, with a basin so large that it looks like a small lake, 25 by 30 
feet, and one can look from the margin down into its clear depths for over 


30 feet and behold a fairy-like palace, adorned with more brilliant 
colors and decorations than any structure made by human hands. 
South of the Thud 
Geyser, as laid 
down on the chart, 
there is one large 
basin, 150 feet in 
diameter, with a 
crater within the 
rim 25 feet in di- 
ameter. From this 
inner orifice the 
entire mass of wa- 
ter is thrown np 
30 to GO feet, fall- 
ing back into it, in 
detached glob- 
ules, like silver. 
There is a rim 
around the inner 
crater 3 feet high. 
The vast column 
of water as it 
shoots up, spreads 
out in falling back, 
like a natural foun - 
tain, so that it 
overflowsthe inner 
rim for a radius of 
10 feet. (Fig. 38.) 
A short distance 
south of the Foun- 
tain Geyser is one 
of the most re- 
markable mud- 
pots in the Fire- 
Hole Vallev. (Fig. 
39.) The diameter 
within the rim is 
40 by 60 feet, and 
forms a vast mor- 
tar-bed of the fin- 
est material. The 
surface is covered 
with large puffs, 
and as each one 
bursts the mud 
spirts upward sev- 
eral feet with a 
suppressed thud. 
The mud is an im- 
palpable, siliceous 
clay, fine enough, 
it would seem, for 
the manufacture of the choicest ware. The colors are of every shade, 
from the purest white to a bright, rich pink. The surface is covered 



with twenty or thirty of these puffs, which are bursting each second, 
tossing the mud in every direction on to the broad rounded rim. There 
are several other mud-puffs in the vicinity, but they do not differ ma- 
terially from the last, except in size. Within a few feet of the mud- 
spring, there is a large clear spring, 40 by 60 feet, with perhaps fifty cen- 
ters of ebullition, filled with the rusty leathery deposit, and all around 
the basin where the waters overflow there is an extensive deposit of the 

iron. The temperature is 
140O. About one-fourth 
of a mile west of the large 
mud-pots are some exten- 
sive fissure-springs, one of 
them 100 feet long and of 
variable width, 4 to 10 
feet. These appear to be 
merely openings in the 
crust or deposit which 
covers the entire surface. 
Quite a large stream flows 
from this spring. Many 
of the springs seem to re- 
main full to the rim of the 
crater, and are in a con- 
tinual state of greater or 
less ebullition, and yet no 
water flows from them. 
Others discharge great 
quantities. The aggregate 
of 4ihe surplus water usu- 
ally forms a good sized 
stream, as is shown on the 
map. In this group are a 
few springs that have pre- 
cipitated a small amount of 
sulphur, the first observed 
in the Fire- Hole Valley. 
(Fig. 40.) Silica and iron 
seem to be the dominant 
constituent in nearly all 
the deposits. There are 
numerous springs that de- 
posit a curious black sed- 
iment like fine gun-pow- 
der, and send forth a very 
disagreeable odor. On 
the southeast side of the 
basin, it will be seen by 
reference to the chart, that 
there is a long group of 
springs extending high up 
into the mountains. This is a most interesting group, and many of them 
are of the largest size. There are not many geysers, and none of the 
first class, yet nearly all of them are in a more or less intense state of 
ebullition, shooting up a column of water varying from a few inches to 
8 or 10 feet. Many of them are surrounded with a deposit tinged with 
the bnghtest of pink and rose tints from the oxide of iron. The aggre- 



^,^ated waters leave the little lake, and flow down with considerable 
rapidity toward the Fire-Hole, by steps or terraces ; each step or ter- 
race forms a pool with its beautiful scalloped rim, from the notched 

edges of which the water flows on to successive terraces. In one of the 
streams, the channel of which is about two feet wide and one foot deep, 
the water was filled with a plant with a vellowish-pink base, bordered 
with a very fine green silky fringe, and these fringes, or cilia, were per- 



petnally vibrating with the flowing waters. Except that they were a 
rich vegetable green, these fringes had the form and texture of the 
finest cashmere wool. The luxuriant growth of vegetation in and 
along the borders of these little streams was a wonder of beauty. 
The whole view was there superior to anything of the kind I had 
seen. In this group greatly is one cone with the top broken oft\ 18 
inches high, 4 feet in diameter, with an aperature at the top 18 
inches in diameter, in a constant state of ebullition. From the 

form of the crater 
we called this the 
Bee-Hive. In the 
'lower basin there 
are very few of the 
raised craters, 
but mostly coni- 
' cal, funnel-shaped 
basins, with rims 
of various forms. 
The majority of 
z them are circular 
« or nearly so. All 
« around the Bee- 
« Hive for several 
" feet the surface is 
w ornamented with 
" pearly tubercles of 
H silica, from the 
^ size of a pea to 
2 three inches in di- 
^ ameter. The val- 
s ley is filled with 
Q springs up to its 
a very source, and 
^ those springs 
^ which burst from 
the mountain side 
800 feet above the 
sea have tempera- 
tures respectivelv 
of 1660, 1750, and 
I8O0. On the south 
side of the canon, 
flowing down the 
almost vertical side 
of the mountain, 
there was a little 
cool spring so imbedded in its bright green carpet of moss that it 
could hardly be seen. With great difliculty we managed to climb up 
the mountain side, and, clearing away the moss, obtained the first 
water that we could drink for eight hours. In all of our examination 
during the day we had not found a drop of water of sufiiciently low 
temperature to take into our mouths, though there were hundreds 
of the most beautiful springs all around us. We were like Coleridge^s 
mariner in the great ocean, "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop 
to drink." There is every variety of form here to the basins of the 
springs. One is a fine boiling spring with a nearly circular rim 5 by 


8 feet, running straight down beyond the reach of vision. Another 
is funnel-shaped, tapering down to a mere aperture, with the thin 
scalloped rim projecting over the water all around for several inches. 
Some have no water flowing from them ; others send forth a stream 
two feet wide and six inches deep. These springs vary in temperature 
all the way from lOT^ to 140°. About half of the springs were not 
considered w^orthy of attention and are not located on the chart. In 
the lower portions of this group, there is one of the handsomest foun- 

tain-springs. The basin is most elegantly scalloped, nearly circular, 
25 feet in diameter, with vertical sides to an unknown depth. The 
entire mass of the water is at times most violently agitated, and, over- 
flowing the sides of the basin, passes oft' in a kind of terrace pools or 
reservoirs to the main stream, producing a system of architecture out 
of silica similar to that of the calcareous springs on Gardiner's River. 
(Fig. 41.) The gay colors, from bright pink to delicate rose, are well 
shown. Near this fountain is one of the elevated craters, which we 



called the White Dome Geyser. (Fig. 42.) The broad mound is 15 feet 
high, and upon this is a chimney about 20 feet in height. The steam 
issues steadily from the top like a high-pressure engine. 

Early in the morning of August 30, the valley was literally filled with 
columns of steam, ascending from more than a thousand vents. I can 
compare the view to nothing but that of some manufacturing city like 
Pittsburgh, as seen from a high point, except that instead of the black 
coal smoke, there are here the white delicate clouds of steam. (Fig. 43.) 
Small groups or solitary springs that are scattered everywhere in the 
woods, upon the mountain-sides, and which .would otherwise have 
escaped observation, are detected by the columns of steam. It is evi- 
dent that some of these groups of springs have changed their base of 
operations within a comparatively recent period ; for about midway on the 
east side of the lower basin there is a large area covered with a thick, 
apparently modern, deposit of the silica, as white as snow, while stand- 
ing quite thickly all around are the dead pines, which appear to have 
been destroyed by the excessive overflow of the water and the increased 
deposition. These dry trees have a most desolate look ; many of them 
have fallen down and are incrusted with the silica, while portions that 
have fallen into the boiling springs have been reduced to a pulp. This 
seems to be one of the conditions of silicification, for when these pulpj^ 
masses of wood are permitted to dry by the cessation of the springs, the 
most perfect specimens of petrified wood are the result. In one instance 
a green pine-tree had fallen so as to immerse its thick top in a large hot 
basin, and leaves, twigs, and cones had become completely incrusted with 

Hole Eiver, we obtained a. bird's-eye view of the entire lower por- 
tion of the valley, which was estimated to be about twenty miles long 
and five miles wide. To the westward, among the mountains, were a 
number of little lakes, which were covered with a huge species of water- 
lily, Nu2)har advena. The little streams precipitated their waters in the 
most picturesque cascades or falls. One of them was named by Colonel 
Barlow the Fairy Fall, from the graceful beauty with which the little 
stream dropped down a clear descent of 250 feet. It is only from a high 
point that it can be seen, for the water falls gently down from the lofty 
overhanging cliff into a basin at the foot, which is surrounded by a 
line of tall pines 100 to 150 feet in height. The continual flow of the 

Fig. 44. 

the white silica, and a por- 
tion had entered into the cel- 
lular structure, so that when 
removed from the water, and 
dried in the sun, very fair 
specimens were obtained. 
Members of my party ob- 
tained specimens of pine 
cones that were sufiQciently 
silicified to be packed away 
among the collections. 


In order that we might get 
a complete view of the 
Lower Geyser Basin, from 
some high point, we made a 
trip to the summit of Twin 
Buttes, on the west side of 
the basin. From the top 
of one of these buttes, which 
is 630 feet above the Fire- 



waters of this little fountain has worn a deep channel or furrow into 
the vertical sides of the mountain. The Twin Buttes are two conical 
mountains, partially separated from the main range, and on the sum- 
mit, a few vents are sending forth their columns of steam. As far a« 
the eye can reach, can be seen the peculiar plateau mountain ranges, 
black with the dense forests of pine, averaging from 9,000 to 10,000 
feet above sea-level. On the west side of the Fire-Hole, near its mar- 
gin, are four small lakes with quiet surfaces, with water as blue as the 
sky. One of them is about half a mile in length. The waters are 
cold at the present time, but the basins present the appearance of having 
been enormous hot springs at some period in the past. From our camp 
on the main branch that enters the Fire-Hole at the upper end of 
the lower group of springs on the borders of the rim, we made our 
examinations down the stream, descending the east side and return- 
ing on the opposite Pig 
side, and then passing 
up the west branch, 
noting all the springs 
of importance, taking 
the temperatures, and 
securing brief descrip- 
tions of their peculi- 
arities. Most of them 
do not differ materi- 
ally from those already 
described, so that I 
shall notice only the 
most important. The 
numbers of the vents 
can be understood by 
reference to the chart, 
although many of the 
less important and 
dead springs are omit- 
ted. The first one we 
shall notice is located 
on the right branch of the river, and from the triangular shape of its basin, 
8 by 10 feet, we named it the ''Conch Spring." All along the margins 
of the river hundreds of springs, which we could not note, but which 
aid in swelling the volume of the stream, issue from beneath the siliceous 
crust. A little below the Conch Spring, on the very margin of the 
river, there is a fine geyser, which has built for itself a crater three feet 
high, with a shell a foot thick. The inside of the crater is about six 
feet in diameter, and the entire mass of water is in a constant state 
of agitation. Sometimes it will boil up so violently as to throw the 
entire mass up four feet, and then die down so as to boil like a caldron. 
Indeed, the whole process might be imitated by subjecting a caldron 
of water to continuous and excessive heat. The water is perfectly clear, 
and the overflow forms a stream six inches wide and two inches deep, 
passing down the sides of the crater and thence into the river along the 
most exquisitely decorated channel- The entire surface of the crater is 
covered with pearl-like beads, formed by tlie spray of the waters. A 
section of the crater shows it to have been built up very slowly, in very 
thin lamiuse. Another spring, with a crater like a horn, about a foot 
in diameter at the top and six feet at the base, we called the Horn 
Geyser. It is in a constant state of ebullition, with the same ornamenta 
8 G s 



tions as the one just described. A spring on a level with the river has 
an enormous square basin, 30 feet across, of unknown depth. We called 
this the Bath Spring. A little below is another singular form of won- 
derful beauty. The water issues from beneath the crust near the mar- 
gin of the river from several apertures. The basin itself is 15 by 20 
feet and 20 feet deep. It seemed to me that nothing could exceed the 
transparent clearness of the water. The slightest object was reflected 
in its clear depths, and the bright blue tints were indescribable. We 
called this the Cavern. The mud springs are also numerous and im- 
portant in this group. As usual, they are of all sizes, from an inch or 
two to 20 or 30 feet in diameter, with contents varying from mere turbid 
water to stifl' mud. They seldom have any visible outlet, but are in a 
constant state of agitation, with a sound which varies with the consist- 
ency of the contents. There are several of the mud-pots which give 
off a suppressed thud as the gases burst their way through the stiff 
mortar. Sometimes the mortar is as white as snow, or brown, or tinged 
with a variety of vivid colors. One mud-spring, located in the woods 
near a small lake on the east side of the Fire-Hole, has a basin 30 by 40 
feet, with sides 15 feet high, in constant action, frequently hurling the 
mud outside of the rim. All around it are a number of little vents, 
which keep up a simmering noise, some of which have bailt up little 
cones 4 to 12 inches high, which have in many cases closed themselves 
up at the top and ceased. On removing the cone, we found the inner 
sides lined with the delicate crystals of sulphur. The last stage of these 
springs, in many cases, seems to be a steam- vent, at which time the 
sulphur is deposited. On the west side of the Fire-Hole, and along the 
little branch that flows into it from the west, are numbers of springs of 
all grades, and the broad bottom is covered with a snow-white siliceous 
crust. Near the base of the mountains, there is a massive, first-class 
boiling spring, in a constant state of violent agitation, sending forth 
great columns of steam, with a singular toad-stool rim. There are some 
springs around which the siliceous deposits have assumed a form like 
the toad-stool fungus. It flows out from beneath a hill 150 feet high, 
composed of a kind of stratified cement, which was certainly deposited 
in the lake when these hot springs were in active operation. It is 
undoubtedly formed of volcanic ejectamenta mingled with the deposits 
from the hot springs ; 196°. There are some that might be called spas- 
modic springs. There is one massive spring, with a most beautifully 
scalloped rim 15 by 20 feet, which is always agitated, but occasionally 
shoots up several feet with great violence j 196^. About three miles up 
the Fire-Hole we meet with a small but quite interesting group of springs 
on both sides of the stream. There is a vast accumulation of silica, form- 
ing a hill 50 feet along the level of the river; upon the summit is one of 
the largest springs yet seen, nearly circular, 150 feet in diameter, boils up 
in the center, but overflows with such uniformity on all sides as to admit 
of the formation of no real rim, but forming a succession of little orna- 
mental steps, from one to three inches in lieight, just as water would 
congeal from cold in flowing down a gentle declivity. There was the 
same transparent clearness, the same brilliancy of coloring to the w-aters, 
but the hot steam and the thinness of the rim prevented me from ap- 
proaching it near enough to ascertain its temperature or observe its 
depth, except at one edge, where it was 180^. It is certainly one of the 
grandest hot springs ever seen by human eye. (Fig. 46.) But the most for- 
midable one of all is near the margin of the river. It seems to have broken 
out close by the river, and to have continually enlarged its orifice by the 
breaking down of its sides. It evidently commenced on the east side, 


and the continual wear of tlie under side of the crust on the west side 
has caused the margin to fall in, until an aperture at least 250 feet in 
diameter has been formed, with walls or sides 20 to 30 feet high, showing 
the lamince of deposition perfectly. The water is intensely agitated all 
the time, boiling like a caldron, from which a vast column of steam is 
ever arising, filling the orifice. As the passing breeze sweeps it away 
for a moment, one looks down into this terrible seething pit with terror. 
All around the sides are large masses of the siliceous crust that have 
fallen from the rim. An immense column of water flows out of this 
caldron into the river. As it pours over the marginal slope, it descends 
by numerous small channels, with a large number of smaller ones spread- 
ing over a broad surface, and the marvelous beauty of the strikingly 
vivid coloring far surpasses anything of the kind we have seen in this 
land of wondrous beauty ; every possible shade of color, from the 
vivid scarlet to a bright rose, and every shade of yellow to delicate 
cream, mingled with vivid green from minute vegetation. Some of the 
channels were lined with a very fine, delicate yellow, silky material, 
which vibrates at every movement of the waters. Mr. Thomas Moran, 
the distinguished artist, obtained studies of these beautiful springs 
and from his well-known reputation as a colorist, we look for a 
painting that will convey some conception to the mind of the exqui- 
site variety of colors around this spring. There was one most beau- 
tiful funnel-shaped spring, 20 feet in diameter at the top, bat tapering 


down, lined inside and outside with the most delicate decorations. Indeed, 
to one looking down into its clear depths, it seemed like a fairy palace. The 
same jelly-like substance or pulp to which I have before alluded, covers 
a large area with the various shades of light-red and green. The sur- 
face yields to the tread like a cushion.. It is about two inches in thick- 
ness, and although seldom so tenacious as to hold together, yet it 
may be taken up in quite large masses, and when it becomes dry 
it is blown about by the wind like fragments of variegated lichens. 

At the upper end of the lower district are three immense boiling 
springs on the east margin of the river, and on the opposite side are 
two or three more, and then comes a long interval of two or three 
miles which is entirely free from springs, until we reach the upper 
basin. The immediate valley is covered with old siliceous deposits up 
to the base of the hills on either side, showing that, although there are 
no springs at this time, it was once the scene of great activity. The bot- 
tom over which the river flows is paved with the old silica. The forest 
grows close down to the margin of the river, and in one place the hills 
of trachyte almost close in the valley. High up on either side are waUs 


of trachyte apparently stratified and inclining 10^ to 15^ from the val- 
ley. The vegetation grows remarkably rank along the streams and in 
the valley where the crust of silica does not prevent it. The perpetual 
warmth caused by the proximity of the springs is undoubtedly very fa- 
vorable to the growth of plants. 

We camped the evening of August 5, in the middle of the Upper 
Geyser Basin, in the midst of some of the grandest geysers in 


the world. * Colonel Barlow and 
Captain Heap, of the United 
States Engineers, were camped 
on the opposite side of the 
Fire-Hole. Soon after reaching 
camp a tremendous rumbling 
was heard, shaking the ground 
in every direction, and soon 
a column of steam burst forth 
from a crater near the edge of 
the east side of the river. Fol- 
lowing the steam, arose, by a 
succession of impulses, a col- 
umn of water, api}arently 6 feet 
in diameter, to the height of 200 
feet, while the steam ascended 
a thousand feet or more. It 
would be difficult to describe the 
intense excitement which atten- 
ded such a display. It is prob- 
able that if we could have re- 
mained in the valley several 
days, and become accustomed to 
all the preliminary warnings, the 
excitement would have ceased, 
and we could have admired 
calmly the marvelous ease and 
beauty with which this column 
of hot water was held up to that 
great height for the space of 
twenty minutes. After the dis- 
play is over the water settles 
down in the basin several inches 
and the temperature slowly faUs 
to 150°. We called this the 
Grand Gej^ser, for its power 
seemed greater than any other 
of which we obtained any knowl- 
edge in the valley. (Fig. 47.) 
There are two orifices in one ba- 
sin ; one of them seems to have no raised rim, and is a very modest-looking 
spring in a state of quiescence, and no one would for a moment suspect 
the power that was temporarily slumbering below. The orifice is oblong, 
2i by 4 feet, while for the space of 10 feet in every direction around it 
are rounded masses of silica, from a few inches to 3 feet in diameter, 
looking lite spongiform corals. Nothing could exceed the crystal clear- 
ness of the water. This is the Grand Geyser. Within 20 feet of this 
orifice is a second one, of irregular quadrangular form, 15 by 25 feet ; 
the east side of the main outer rim of reservoir extended 20 feet beyond 



the large orifice. The bottom of this great reservoir is covered with 
thick spongiform masses, aud iu addition the rim is most elegantly 
adorned with countless pearl-like beads, of all sizes. There are sev- 
eral beautiful triangular reservoirs, by 3 feet, set around the outer 
sides of the rim, with numerous smaller ones, full of clear water, witli 

Fig. 48. 


hundreds of small depressions most beautifully scalloped. As we 
receile from the rim, the waters as they pass slowly away produce, by 
evaporation, broad shallow basins, with thin, elegantly colored partitions, 
portions of which have the form of toad-stools. When the water set- 
tles into these depressions, or flows away toward the river in nume- 
rous small channels, the wonderful variety of coloring which is so 
attractive to the eye is produced. The large orifice seems to be in a 
state of violent agitation as often as once in twenty minutes, raising up 
the entire mass of water 10 or 15 feet. It is never altogether quiel. 
Although these two orifices are within the same rim, I could not ascertain 
that there is the slightest connection with each other. When the large 
orifice is much agitated it does not disturb the equanimity of the Grand 
Geyser. Tiiey both operate perfectly independent of each other. Indeed, 
I do not know that there is a connection between any of the springs in 
the whole basin, though there may be in some rare cases. The Grand 
Geyser operated twice while we were in the basin, with an interval of 



ab!!ut thirty-two hours; of course, the displays could not be exactly 
periodic, but it would be an interesting study to remain several 
days and watch carefully the movements of such a power. Just 
east of the Grand Geyser, as located on the chart, is a moderate- 
sized geyser, with three smaller ones along the side of it, all playing 
at the same time. From the larger one, a column of water is 
constantly shot up 15 or 20 feet, with much the sound of the escape 

of the steam from 
a pipe. The orifice 
/- '~ is not more than 6 

inches in diameter ; 
but with the three 
smaller ones play- 
ing at the same time 
a great commotion is 
excited. Near this 
little group are sev- 
eral large boiling 
springs, which 
throw up the water 
ill the center 2 to 
^^^^>^- -.--^ 4 feet. These are 
'^'^^ ^ finme\-shi\\)edj with 

^orifices 6 inches to 
^2 feet in diameter, 
in basins with near- 
c K A r . K K o i< M . : . E-H o E B A s I K. circular rims, 15 

to 40 feet in diameter. About one-fourth of a mile nortlieast of the 
castle, upon a mound about 30 feet above the riv' er, built up with thin 
laminse of silica, and rounded off, rise four chimneys of different sizes, 
which are geysers, though perhaps not spouting extensively at this 
time. One is 12 
inches high, nearly 
circular, and 3 feet 
in diameter; the 
second is oblong, 
4 by 6 feet, with 
rather coarsely 
scalloped margins, 
with an aperture 
about 15 inches in 
diameter; the third 
chimney is about 
3 feet high, G feet 
at the base, with 
an orifice nearly 
quadrangular, 12 
inches across, with "^"^ bath-tub. 

the spongiform masses inside, and covered all over wi*^h beautiful 
pearly beads of silica on the outside; the fourth chimney rises 5 feet 
above the mound, is 10 feet in diameter at the base, with an orifice 
2 feet across, lined inside with the spongiform masses. This has been 
at one time a first-class geyser, but is now fast going to decay, a beau- 
tiful rim. The elegant bead-work on the margin and all the spongi- 
form masses are now falling into pieces, forming great quantities of 
f?e6m around the base of the mound. There is also one boiling spring 


of great {esthetic beauty. The immediate orifice is nearly circular, and 
beautifully scalloped around the margins, extends straight down, and 
the water rises within an inch or two. of the scalloped margin. The 
water is in a constant state of agitation, boiling up 2 feet at times. 
The margin has a coating of bright cream-yellow, while all around tlie 
surface there is the most delicate and intricate embroidering, surpassing 

the most 
lace- work. 

11 )g the crater 


s an 

outer reservoir 4 feet 
wide, with a white and 
reddish-yellow rim, 
while in the bottom of 
the reservoir is the 
variegated sediment 
which aids in giving 
such a won d erf ull y f 
gay appearance to the^ 
spring. A stream ofm^^ 
water flows from the 
spring to the river, .,_^cr^ 
and the channel is punch bowl, no. i. 

lined for fifty yards with the variegated sediment. Near this is another 
mound w-hich rises, with laminated steps, about G feet. I called it the 
Bath-Tub. (Fig. 50.) It has much the shape and size of our ordinary 
bathing-tubs, 5 by 10 feet, beautifully scalloped around the inner margins 
with the spongiform or cauliflower masses of silica inside, and the outer 


surface adorned with 
the greatest profusion 
of the pearly beads; 
the wa ter is constantly 
boiling up 2 feet high, 
though but a small 
quantity flows from it. 
^ There are numerous 

'^^^M craters or chimneys 

"MffeS^ which are well worthy 

^•-7~rc:f:^^^j of attention, similar to 
those just described, 
as the Punch Bowl and 
^ Dental Cup. (Figs. 51 
and 52.) 

On the summit of 
the great mound, is 
one of a class I have 
called central springs ; 
it is located on the highest point of the mound, on which this great 
group belongs ; has a crater 20 feet in diameter, very nearly quiescent, 
slightly bubbling, or boils near the center, with a thin elegant rim 
projecting over the spring, with the water rising within a few inches of 
the top. The continual but very moderate overflow of this spring uni- 
formly on every side, builds up slowly a broad-based mound, layer by 
layer, one-eighth to one-sixteenth of an inch thick; looking down into 
these springs, you seem to be gazing into fathomless depths, w^hile 
the bright blue of the waters is unequaled even by the sea^ There 



are a number of these marvelous central springs ; they usually crown 
the summit of a mound, with projecting rims carved with an intricate 

delicacy which of itself is a marvel, and as one ascends the mound and 
looks down into the wonderfully clear depths, the vision is uuique. The 



great beauty of the prismatic colors depends inucli on the sunlight, but 
about the middle of the day, when the bright rays descend nearly verti- 
cally, and a slight breeze just p. 
makes a ripple on the surface, 
the colors exceed comparison ; 
when the surface is calm 
there is one vast chaos of 
colors, dancing, as it were, like 
the colors of a kaleidoscope. 
As seen through this marvelous 
play of colors, the decorations 
on tbe sides of the basin are 
lighted up with a wild, weird 
beauty, which wafts one at once 
into the land of enchantment; 
all the brilliant feats of fairies 
and genii in the Arabian Nights' 
Entertainments are forgotten 
in the actual presence of such 
marvelous beauty; life becomes 
a privilege and a blessing after 
one has seen and thoroughly felt these incomparable types of nature^^. 
cunning skill. There is another geyser, which has a chimney 3 feet 
high and 5 feet in diameter at the base, with an orifice 2J feet at the 
top, lined with the spongiform silica inside, and on the outside adorned 
with bead and shell work. There is a form of shell crystallization 
that reminds one of the artificial shell-work made with small thin 
oyster-shells; the form of the chimney is like an old-fashioned bee-hive. 
High up in the hills there is one lone spring 20 by 30 feet, with consider- 
able flow, forming with the sediment a high mound 250 yards in diam- 
eter ; it is constantly boiling up in the center about 2 feet ; it has the 
prettily scalloped rim, and is 250 feet above the river. The group just 
described is a most remarkable one, and I call attention to it on the 
chart in which the Bee-Hive and Giantess are located. 

p . We will now pass to the op- 

^ ^ ■ posite side of the river for a 

moment, and examine the Cas- 
tle and its surroundings. Upon 
the mound on which the Castle 
is located, there is one of the 
most beautiful of the calm 
springs, of which Mr. Jackson 
secured an excellent photo- 
graph; it does not boil at all, 
but the surface is kept in a con- 
stant vibration; the spring ha^^. 
a rim nearly circular, 25 by 30 
feet; is somewhat funnel- 
shaped, passing down to a 
depth of 60 feet in water that 
has an almost unnatural clear- 
ness to a small aperture, which 
leads under the shell to an unknown depth ; the rim slopes down on 
the other side all around about 12 inches, 1 to 3 inches thick, 
most elegantly scalloped, the under sides in leaves like a toad-stool ; 
the inner lining of the basin is a marvel of delicate tracery of pure 




white silica ; deep down in the sides of the basin are what appear 
to be chambers, all finished off with the same delicate work. The 
Castle receives its name from its resemblance to the ruins of an old 
castle as one enters the valley from the east. The silica has crystallized 
in immense globular masses, like cauliflowers or spongiform corals; all 
around it the crystals seemed to have formed about a nucleus at right 
angles to the center; the entire mound is about 40 feet high, and the 
chimney 20 feet; the lower portion rises in steps formed of thin laminae 

Fig. 56. 


of silica, mostly very thio, but some- 
times becoming comi^act, an inch or 
two thick. On the southeast side, 
where the water is thrown out contin- 
ually, these steps are oruamented with 
the usual bead and shell work, with 
the large cauliflower-like masses, but 
the other i^ortions are fast going to de- 
cay, and the debris are abundant; in- 
deed, this has undoubtedly been one 
of the most active and powerful geysers 
in the basin ; it still keeps up a great 
roariug inside, and every few moments 
throws out a column of water to the 
height of 10 or 15 feet; all around it 
are some most beautifully ornamented 
reservoirs that receive the surplus wa 
ters. If I vshould here describe the Giant, 
Grotto, Punch-Bowl, and a hundred 
other geysers of all classes, it would be 
pretty much a repetition of what has 
already been written. The Giant has a crater like a broken horn, and, 
while my party w^ere in the basin, played at one time one hour and 
twenty minutes, throwing the water up to the height of 140 feet. Lieu- 
tenant Doane states that at the time of his visit the previous year it 
played three and a half hours, throwing a column of water 90 to 200 feet. 
"*The Giant has a rugged crater, 10 
feet in diameter on the outside, with 
an irregular orifice 5 or 6 feet in di- 
ameter. (Fig. 58.) It discharges a vast 
body of water, and the only time we 
saw it in eruption the flow of water 
in a column 5 feet in diameter, and 
140 feet in vertical height, continued 
uninterruptedly for nearly three hours. 
The crater resembles a miniature model 
of the Coliseum. 

Our search for new wonders leading 
us across the Fire-Hole Eiver, we as- 
cended a gentle incrusted slope, and 
came suddenly upon a large oval aper- 
ture with scalloped edges, the diam- 
eters of which were 18 and 25 feet, 
the sides corrugated and covered 
with a grayish-white siliceous deposit, which was distinctly visible at 
the depth of 100 feet below the surface. No water could be discovered, 
but we could distinctly hear it gurgling and boiling at a great dis- 
tance below. Suddenly it began to rise, boiling and spluttering, and 

* K". P. Langford in Scribner's Monthly for June, 1S71. 

Fig. 57- 




sendiDg out huge masses of steam, causing a general stampede of our 
company, driving us some distance from our })oiut of observation. 
Wlien Avitbin about 40 feet of the surface, it became stationary, and 
we returned to look down upon it. It was foaming and surging at a 
terrible rate, occasionally emitting small jets of hot water nearly to the 
mouth of the orifice. All at once it seemed seized with a fearful si)asm, 
and rose with incredible rapidity, hardly affording us time to flee to a 
safe distance, when it burst from the orifice with terrific momentum, 
rising in a column the full size of this immense aperture to the height 
of 60 feet; and through and out of the apex of this vast aqueous 
mass, five or six lesser jets or round columns of water, varying in 
size from 6 to 15 inches in diameter, were projected to the marvelous 
height of 250 feet. These lesser jets, so much higher than the main 
column, and shooting through it, doubtless proceed from auxiliary 
pipes leading into the principal orifice near the bottom, where the explo- 
sive force is greater. If the theory that water by constant boiling be- 
comes explosive when freed from air be true, this theory rationally ac- 
counts for all irregularities in the eruptions of the geysers. 

Fig. 58. 


This grand eruption continued for twenty minutes, and was the most 
magnificent sight we ever witnessed. We were standing on the side of 
the geyser nearest the sun, the gleams of which filled the sparkling col- 
umn of water and spray with myriads of rainbows, whose arches were 
constantly changing — dipping and fluttering hither and thither, and 
disappearing only to be succeeded by others, again and again, amid the 
aqueous column, while the minute globules into which the spent jets 
were diflused when falling sparkled like a shower of diamonds, and 
around every shadow which the denser clouds of vapor, interrupting the 
sun's rays, cast upon the column, could be seen a luminous circle radiant 
with all the colors of the prism, and resembling the halo of glory repre- 
sented in paintings as encircling the head of Divinity. All that we 
had previously witnessed seemed tame in comparison with the perfect 
grandeur and beauty of this display. Two of these wonderful eruptions 
occurred during the twenty-two hours we remained in the valley. This 
geyser we named "The Giantess.'^ (Fig. 59.) 


A hundred yards distant from The Giantess was a siliceous cone, very 
symmetrical but slightly corrugated upon its exterior surface, 3 feet in 
height and 5 feet in diameter at its base, and having an oval orifice 24 

Fig. ^59 

by 36 J inches in diameter, 
with scalloped edges. Not one 
of our company supposed that 
it was a geyser; and among so 
many wonders it had almost 
escaped notice. While we 
were at breakfast upon the 
morning of our departure a col- 
umn of Avater, entirely filling 
the crater, shot from it, which, 
by accurate triangular meas- 
urement, we found to be 219 
feet in height. The stream did 
not deflect more than four or 
five degrees from a vertical 
line, and the eruption lasted 
eighteen minutes. We named 
it " The Beehive." (Fig. 60.) 

The illustration of the Gi- 
antess in action, for the use of 
which in this report, I am 
indebted to the liberality of the 
editors of Scribner's Monthly, 
shows most admirably the suc- 
cession of impulses by which 
the column of water is held up, 
apparently so steadily for so 
long a time. We did not see this 
wonderful geyser in operation 
during our visit; but it has 
been so graphically described 
by Mr. Langford, and so faith- 
fully depicted by Mr. Moran, 
the artist, that little more need 
be added. 

The Fan Geyser consists of 
a group of five geysers, which 
play at one time, throwing the 
water in every direction. 
There is one quite conspicuous 
cone, marked on the chart. 
Pyramid, which is now extinct, 
except that from the summit 
steam is constantly escaping. 
This has been a geyser of some 
importance, and has built up 
a structure 25 feet high, and 
100 feet in diameter at the base. 
Near it is a quiet spring with a 
most elegantly scalloped rim. 
It would require the careful study of a month under the most favora- 
ble circumstances to obtain full and clear information in regard to all 




the geysers of this basin. I have therefore left undescribed many as 
interesting as those noticed in the preceding pages. 

On our return to the lake from this basin, we passed up the Fire-Hole 
Kiver to its source in the divide. Early in the morning, as we were 
leaving the valley, the grand old geyser which stands sentinel at the 
head of the valley gave us a magnificent parting display, and with little 
or no preliminary warning it shot up a column of water about G feet in 
diameter- to the height of 100 Fig. 60. 

to 150 feet, and by a succes- 
sion of impulses seemed to 
hold it up steadily for the 
space of fifteen minutes, the 
great mass of water falling 
directly back into the basin, 
and flowing over the edges 
and down the sides in large 
streams. When the action 
ceases, the water recedes be- 
yond sight, and nothing is 
heard but the occasional es- 
cape of steam until another 
exhibitionoccurs. This is one 
of the most accommodating 
geysers in the basin, and during our stay played once an hour quite 
regularly. On account of its apparent regularity, and its position 
overlooking the valley, it was called by Messrs. Langford and Doane 
^'Old Faithful." It has built up a crater about 20 feet high around its 
base, and all about it are decorations similar to those previously de- 

On the morning of August 6, we 
ascended the mountains at the head 
of Fire-Hole Eiver, on our return to 
the hot-spring cami) on the Yellow- 
stone Lake. We had merely caught 
a glimpse of the wonderful physical 
phenomena of this remarkable val- 
ley. We had just barely gleaned a 
few of the surface observations, 
which only sharpened our desire for 
a larger knowledge. There is no 
doubt in my mind that these geysers 
are more powerful at certain seasons 
of the year than at others. W^e saw 
them in midsummer, when the sur- 
face waters are greatly diminished. 
In the spring, at the time of the melt- 


ing of the snows, the display of the 

first-class geysers must be more fre 
quent and powerful. Temperatures may vary somewhat, though those 
given on the chart may be relied on as correct. We left this valley, 
with its beautiful scenery, its hot springs and geysers, with great 

Mr. Elliott has sketched an ideal section of a portion of the Upper 
Geyser yalley, (Fig. 63,) which may convey a clearer conception of 
the way in which we may suppose the waters of many of the springs 
reach the surface. The lower portion of the section is basalt, then lake 


or local drift deposits, and thirdly the crust of silica which forms a floor of 
greater or less thickness for the entire valley. 

The mountains whish form the divide between the sources of the 
Madison and the Yellowstone are very high and steep. After traveling 
about 8 miles, we came to the nearly vertical sides of the main divide, 
which is composed of trachytic basalt. Immense quantities of brolj:en 
rocks had fallen down at the bottom of the ridges. Little lakes occur 
every mile or so, nestled among the pines 9,000 and 10,000 feet above 
the sea. At the head of Fire-Hole we ascended a steep ridge, with al- 
most vertical sides, with just room to travel, to the summit of the divide. 

Fig. 62. 


From this point we could look back and obtain a full view of the Madi- 
son Valley with its branches, and the high volcanic mountains that 
inclose it. The mountains are gashed with deep gorges, and on the 
sides are immense quantities of the fragments of trachyte and obsid- 
ian. The pines grow upon the declivities of the mountains where they are 
so steep that it would be impossible for a man ever to ascend. The ele- 
vation of what appeared to be the highest point of our route was 9,500 feet, 
but the general elevation of the mountain summits is about 10,000 feet. 
It is only in exceptional cases that isolated peaks rise above that eleva- 

As we descended the mountains on the east side, we saw through the 



trees what we thought at first was one of the arms of the Yellowstone 
Lake. It proved to be Lake Madison, a most beautiful sheet of water, 
set like a gem among the mountains, with the 
dense pine forests extending down to the very 
shores. A ridge or promontory extends into the 
lake on the west side for about half a mile, which 
gives it a heart-shaped form. It is about three 
miles from north to south, and two from east to 
west. The shores of the lake are paved with 
masses of trachyte and obsidian. 

Leaving Madison Lake, we crossed a second 
high basaltic ridge, and descended into the drain- 
age of the Yellowstone. Dense pine forests, with 
here and there open grassy glades, deep gullies 
which seemed to have no water except during the 
melting of the snows in spring, occur everywhere. 
Old hot-spring deposits occur here and there, cov- 
ering limited areas. We camped at night on the 
shore of a lake which seemed to have no outlet. 
It is simply a depression Avhich receives the 
drainage of the surrounding hills. It is marshy 
around the shores, and the surface is covered 
thickly with the leaves and flowers of a large 
yellow lily. The water is not clear and cold like that 
of the other mountain lakes, but more like rain- 
water. The vegetation was very luxuriant all 
over these lowlands, and the flowers were abun- 
dant and varied. The lake was about two miles 
long and one wide, and it is doubtful whether it 
had ever been observed by human beings before. 

The following morning we reached our camp at 
the hot springs, on the southwest arm of the Yel- 
lowstone Lake. 



As an appendix to this chapter, I quote a few ^ 
paragraphs from a remarkably interesting though ^ 
scarce volume, entitled ^'New Zealand : its Physi- • 
cal Geography, Geology, and Natural History," by 
Dr.' Ferdinand von Hochstetter. The hot springs 
and geysers of New Zealand are so similar to _ , , 

those in the Yellowstone Basin, and scarcely less ^Bi' l ?! 
inferior in interest, that I gladly, call attention to ' ' 

this most interesting and instructive work. The 
origin of these hot springs is undoubtedly the 
same all over the world. Those in Iceland have 
been studied by the ablest scientific men from all 
portions of the world. 

The second extract is from a very able work by 
Professor Gustave Biscliof, Eesearches into the 
Internal Heat of the Globe," (page 225. ) These ex- t^v.' 
tracts will serve to convey the opinions of eminent frrf^^^ ^ 
scientific men who have made the subject of hot springs a special study. 




" Both kinds of springs owe tlieir origin to the water permeating the 
surface and sinking through fissures into the bowels of the earth, where 
it becomes heated by the still existing volcanic fires. High-pressure 
steam is thus generated, which, accompanied by volcanic gases, such 
as muriatic acid, sulphurous acid, sulphureted hydrogen, and carbonic 
acid, rises again toward the colder surface, and is there condensed into 
hot water. The over-heated steam, however, and the gases decompose 
the rock beneath, dissolve certain ingredients, and deposit them on the 
surface. According to Bunsen's ingenious observations, a chronological 
succession takes place in the co-operation of the gases. The sulphurous 
acid acts first. It must be generated there where rising sulphur vapor 
comes into contact with glowing masses of rock. Wherever vapors of 
sulphurous acid are constantly formed, there acid springs, or solfataras, 
arise. Incrustations of alum are very common in such places, arising 
from the action of sulphuric acid on the alumina and alkali of the lavas 5 
another product of the decomposition of the lavas is gypsum, or sulphate 
of lime, the residuum being a more or less ferruginous fumarole clay, the 
material of the mud-pools. To the sulphurous acid comes sulphureted 
hydrogen, produced by the action of steam upon sulphides, and by the 
mutual decomposition of the sulphureted hydrogen and sulphurous 
acid, sulphur is formed, which in all solfataras forms the characteristic 
precipitate, while the decomposition of siliceous incrustations is either 
entirely wanting or quite inconsiderable, and a smell of sulphureted 
hydrogen is but rarely noticed. These acid springs have no periodical 
outbursts of water. 

" In course of time, however, the source of sulphurous acid becomes 
exhausted, and sulphureted hydrogen alone remains active. The acid 
reaction of the soil disappears, yielding to an alkaline reaction by the 
formation of sulphides. At the same time, the action of carbonic acid 
begins upon the rocks, and the alkaline bicarbonates thus produced 
dissolve the silica, which, on the evaporation of the water, deposits in 
the form of opal, or quartz, or siliceous earth, and thus the shell of the 
springs is formed, upon the structure of which the periodicity of the 
outbursts depends. Professor Bunsen, rejecting the antiquated theory 
of Makenzie, based upon the existence of subterraneous chambers, from 
which the water, from time to time, is pressed up through the vapors 
accumulating on its surface, according to the principle of the Hern 
fountain, has proved in the case of the great geyser that the periodical 
eruptions or explosions essentially depend upon the existence of a frame 
of siliceous deposits, with a deep, flue-shaped tube, and upon the sudden 
development of larger masses of steam from the overheated water in 
the lower portions of the tube. The deposition of silica in quantities suf- 
ficient for the formation of this spring apparatus in the course of years 
takes place only in the alkaline spring3. Their water is either entirely 
neutral or has a slightly alkaline reaction. Silica, chloride of sodium, 
carbonates, and sulphates are the chief ingredients dissolved in it. In 
the place of sulphurous acid the odor of sulphureted hydrogen is some- 
times observed in these springs. 

Therocks, from which the siliceous hot-springs of New Zealand derive 
their silica, are rhyolites, and rhyolithic tufas, containing seventy and more 
per cent, of silica ; while we know that in Iceland palagonite, and pal- 
agonitic tufas, with fifty per cent, of silica, are considered as the material 
acted upon and lixiviated by the hot water. By the gradual cooling of 
the volcanic rocks under the surface of the earth in the course of cen- 



turies the hot springs also will gradually disappear ; for they too are 
but a transient phenomenon in the eternal change of everything ere 
ated." — (Hochstetter's New Zealand, English translation, i). 432.) 



" No doubt can be entertained respecting the nature of the agent by 
which the waters of the geyser, the Strokr, and other less considerable 
springs, are thrown to such an immense height. It is, as in volcanoes, a 
gaseous body, principally aqueous vapor. We may, therefore, very 
fairly agree with Krug Von Nidda, and consider volcanoes in the same 
light as intermittent springs, with this dilBference only, that instead of 
water, they throw out melted matters. 

" He takes it for granted that these hot springs derive their temper- 
ature from aqueous vapors rising from below. When these vapors are 
able to rise freelj^ in a continual column, the water at the different 
depths must have a constant temperature, equal to that at which water 
would boil under the pressure existing at the respective depths ; hence 
the constant ebullition of the permanent springs and their boiling heat. 
If, on the other hand, the vapors be prevented by the complicated 
windings of its channels from rising to the surface 5 if, for example, they 
be arrested in caverns, the temperature in the upper layers of water must 
necessarily become reduced, because a large quantity of it is lost by evapo- 
ration at the surface, which cannot be replaced from below. And any 
circulation of the layers of water at different temperatures, by reason 
of their unequal specific gravities, seems to be very much interrupted 
by the narrowness and sinuosity of the passage. The intermitting 
springs of Iceland are probably caused by the existence of caverns, in 
which the vapor is retained by the pressure of the column of water in 
the channel which leads to the surface. Here this vapor collects, and 
presses the water in the cavern downward until its elastic force becomes 
sufficiently great to effect a passage through the column of water which 
confines it. The violent escape of the vapor causes the thunder-like 
subterranean sound and the trembling of the earth which precedes 
each eruption. The vapors do not ap]Dear at the surface till they hare 
heated the water to their own temperature. When so much vapor has 
escaped that the expansive force of that which remains has become less . 
than the pressure of the confining column of water, tranquillity is re- 
stored, and this lasts until such a quantity of vapor is again collected 
as to produce a fresh eruption. The spouting of the spring is therefore 
repeated at intervals, depending upon the capacity of the cavern, the 
height of the column of water, and the heat generated below." 

The various groups of mud-springs, or salses, which are described in 
the preceding chapter are scarcely less interesting and instructive than 
the geysers. The following analyses of the sediment, by Professor 
Augustus Steitz, of Montana, for Mr. Langford, will be useful for com- 
parison. The reader is also referred to the report of Dr. A. 0. Peale 
in this volume. I have appended a few analyses of the hot-spring 
deposits from New Zealand, from the interesting work of Dr. Hoch- 

9 G s 



Analyses of mud or sediment from mud-springs. 

White sediment. Lavender sediment. Pink sediment. 

Silica 42.2 

Magnesia 33. 4 

Lime 17. 8 

Alkalies 6. 6 


Silica 28.2 

Alumina 58.6 

Boracic acid 3.2 

Oxide of iron 0. 6 

Oxide of calcium 4.2 

Water and loss 5. 2 


Silica 32.6 

Alumina 52. 4 

Oxide of calcium 8. 3 

Soda and potassa 4. 2 

Water and loss - 2.5 


Siliceous deposits of hot springs, on the shores of the Botomahana, Neio Zealand, analyzed hy 

Mr. Mayer. 

['No. 1, Tetarata, two samples, a, an earthy, powdery mass ; b, solidified incrustation ; No. 2, Nagahapu; 
No. 3, Whatapoho ; No. 4, Otukapuarangi.] 


^- i 





86. 03 
11. 52 


0. 45 

0. 38 

84. 78 
12. 86 

1. 27 
^ 1.09 


79.34 ! 

14.50 ! 
f 1.34 i 
\ 3.87 
C 0.27 
< 0.26 
( 0. 42 1 

88. 02 
7. 99 

1 2.99 

1 0.64 
0. 40 

86. 80 
11. 61 
? Slight in- 
3 dication. 

? Slight in- 
l dication. 

Water and organic substances 

Sesquioxide of iron | 

I, Pattison (Philos. Magazine, 1844, p. 495) and, II, Mallet (Philos. 
Magazine 1, 853, p. 285) give tlie following analyses of the siliceous de- 
posits on the hot springs of Lake Taupo, without, however, specifying 
the localities : 

L 11. 

Silica 77. 35 94. 20 

Alumina 9.70 1.58 

Sesquioxide of iron 3. 72 0. 17 

Lime 1. 54 Indication. 

Chloride of sodium 0. 85 

Water 7.66 3.06 

99. 97 99. 86 

Specific gravity 1.968 2.031 



We were Joined at our Hot Spring camp by Lieutenant G. 0. Doane, 
who had visited this region the previous year in company with Messrs. 
Washburn and Langford. Captain Tyler and Lieutenant Grugan had 
been ordered to re4:urn, with most of the escort, to Fort Ellis, and they 
were already on their way to the post by way of the Madison Valley. 
W^e remained here for a day or two, studying the hot springs and rest- 
ing our animals. From this point Messrs. Elliott and Carrington com- 
menced the survey of the shore-line of the lake with our useful little 
bark, the Anna. They were absent seven days, and during the time 
sailed around the entire shore-line, about one hundred and seventy-five 



miles, sketching every bay or indentation, as well as the mountains that 
inclose it. The topographical survey was continued around the south 
alid west shores of the lake with perfect success. A series of careful 
observations for elevations were taken at all our permanent camps, as 
well as at other suitable localities ; so that the height of the lake above 
the sea may be regarded as very accurately attained. 

A small party in charge of Mr. Stevenson returned from Hot Spring 
camp to Bottler's Ranch, by way of the west side of the lake, to obtain 
additional supplies. On tJie evening of August 0, we camped at the head 
of the main bay, west of Flat Mountain. Our hunters returned, after 
diligent search for two and a half days, with only a black-tailed deer, 
which, though poor, was a most important addition to our larder. It 
seems that during the months of August and September the elk and 
deer resort to the summits of the mountains, to escape from the swarms 
of flies in the lowlands about the lake. Tracks of game could be seen 
everywhere, but none of the animals themselves were to be found. 
Our course around the lake was intended to follow the shore as far as 
possible. We made our way among the dense pines or over the fallen 
timber, sometimes in grassy glades, through marshes, or by lily-cov- 
ered lakes. The little streams, which are at this season mostly dry, 
have worn deep gullies through the superficial beds, showing the old 
lake deposits to have been from 200 to 600 feet in thickness. 

At sunrise on the morning of August 10, at the west base of Flat Moun- 
tain, the thermometer stood at 15^-^, and water was frozen in my tent one- 
fourth of an inch thick. The rocks of Red Mountain are trachyte, with 
a purplish tinge, quite hard, and somewhat spotted and banded. Some 
portions of the mountain are very red, and from this fact it derives its 
name. Those of Flat Mountain are the same in texture and color. From 
the summit of Flat Mountain we had an excellent view of the lake. Three 
islands were visible, one of them quite small, 200 yards long, covered 
with inne timber. It is really an elevated ridge of sand. The other 
two are about a mile in length, also covered with a dense growth of pines. 
Along the shores of these islands are bluft' banks of stratified volcanic 
sand, 50 feet high. All these islands are probably elevated i^ortions of 
the old lake-bed, which have gradually risen above the surface as the 
waters of the present lake diminish. To the westward a still higher 
range can be seen, and near it Heart Lake, and still further west Mad- 
ison Lake, embosomed among the mourttains. On the long points or 
fingers, as it were, that extend out into the lake, are several small lily- 
ponds, and open meadow-spaces, covered with thick grass. The general 
view, however, consists of an outer range or rim of volcanic peaks, from 
10,000 to 11,000 feet high, with the inner portions, or belt of lower hills 
and ridges, black with the dense forests of pine, but relieved here and 
there by a small lake, or an open meadow glade. The altitude of Flat 
Mountain is 9,704 feet. 

From this high point, with the grand basin spread out before us, we 
may again ask a question in regard to its origin. On all sides, and 
among the foot-hills, the debris^ which consist of fragments of trachyte^ 
are enormous. Steps produced by slides can be seen most clearly by 
looking over the dark mass of pines. We still believe that the basin 
was at first a depression, produced by the action of the volcanic forces 
which built up the surrounding groups of mountain peaks, and formed 
a reservoir for their drainage, but that it is also due in part to erosion. 
A vast amount of material lias been ground up by the waters of the lake 

I from the sides of the basin, to form the extensive modern deposit which 

I we meet with everywhere. 




Leaving our camp at Flat Mountain, we ascended the high hills, 
among the fallen timber, taking a course about southeast, passed over 
the divide, and at night found ourselves on the head-waters of Snake 
Eiver. The rocks, as usual, were trachy tic basalt, for the most part ; but 
in ascending the divide from the Yellowstone Lake, we find Carboniferous 
limestones, with the accompanying clays, in one locality. Examples of 
the exfoliation of the igneous rocks are very common. 

Between Flat Mountain and the Yellowstone Eange the divide is very 
low. The sources of some of the branches of Snake Eiver extend up 
within two miles of the lake, and the elevation is not more than 400 feet 
above the lake level. This is what has been hitherto understood as 
^' Two Ocean Pass.'' The separation of the drainage between the 
Yellowstone Basin and Snake Eiver is complete. The valley of Snake 
Eiver is very pleasantly diversified with meadow -like openings and 
dense forests of pines. Some of these glades are two to four miles long 
and one to two miles wide. This transition from forest to meadow con- 
tinues all along the river and its branches, from their sources to the 
junction with the Columbia. 

From our camp on Snake Eiver, we traveled north of east to the shores 
of the lake. The broad lowlands are most pleasantly diversified with 
groves of pines and fine grassy meadows, and numbers of streams, some 
of which were of considerable size, flowed from the mountains into the 
lake. One of these creeks was 75 feet wide and 2 feet deep. All 
the rocks we met with were basalt and basaltic breccia. The Yellowstone 
Eange, so far as I could examine it, was composed of breccia, though it , 
undoubtedly contains a nucleus of trachyte , for the masses of it, which 
could not have been transported far, were scattered over the surface. 
We crossed the marshy valley of the Ui)per Yellowstone, which is about 
three miles wide, and pitched our tents upon a sort of terrace on the 
east side of the southeast arm, 80 feet above the water-level of the lake. 
From this point we made a small side trip to the source of the Upper Yel- 
lowstone, and thence to the sources bf the Snake Eiver. The entire region 
is one of great interest. On the morning of August 12, 1 started up the 
valley of the Upper Yellowstone, accompanied by Messrs. Doane and 
Schonborn, for the purpose of making a careful geological as well as 
topographical survey of the district bordering the great divide. Five 
streams of water flow into the Upper Yellowstone from the mountains on 
either side of the head of the vallej', and at this season of the year the veg- 
etation is fresh, green, and most abundant. It would be difficult to find a 
valley in the West that presents as fine a picture to the eye. On either 
side, the valley, which is about three miles wide, is walled in by dark, som- 
ber rocks of volcanic origin, which have been weathered into remarkable 
architectural forms. Looking up the valley from some high point, one 
could almost imagine that he was in the presence of the ruins of some 
gigantic city, so much like old castles, cathedrals of every age and clime, 
do these rocks appear ; add to this, the singular vertical furrows which 
are cut deep into the sides and render more striking their antiquated ap- 
pearance. At the base of the wall-like ridges of the valley, immense 
masses of volcanic breccia have fallen down from the mountain -tops, in 
many instances crushing down the pines along their path. About fifteen 
miles above the lake the valley terminates abruptly, the mountains 
rising like walls, and shutting olf the country beyond. The river here 
separates into three main branches, with here and there smaller ones, 
w^hich bring the aggregated waters of the melted snows from the sum- 
mits of their bare volcanic peaks. Just at the head of the valley there 
is a little lake, but not more than one or two hundred yards in width. 



The lake which has been placed on the maps as Bridger's Lake has no 
real existence. 

From the head of the main valley we ascended the mountains on the 
west side, and from the summit of a high peak the whole basin with 
the divide was brought within the scope of our vision. As far as the 
eye could reach on every side, bare, bald peaks, domes, ridges in great 
numbers could be seen. At least one hundred peaks, worthy of a name, 
could be located within the radius of our vision. The rocks everywhere, 
though massive, black, and deeply furrowed vertically, have the appear- 
ance of horizontal stratification. In some insfeances the furrows are so 
regular that the breccia has a columnar appearance. The summits of the 
mountains are entirely composed of breccia. Angular masses of trachyte, 
10 to 30 feet in diameter, are inclosed in the volcanic cement. Most of the 
fragments are small, varying from an inch to several feet, seldom much 
worn. We camped at night near a small lake, by the side of a bank of 
snow, 10,000 feet above the sea, with the short spring grass and flowers 
all around us. There are but two seasons on these mountain summits, 
spring and winter. In August the fresh new grass may be seen spring- 
ing up where a huge bank of snow has disappeared. The little spring- 
flowers, seldom more than one or two inches high, cover the ground; 
Clatonia^ Yiola^ Ranunculus^ and many others. The following morning 
we traveled for several miles along a ridge not more than two hundred 
yards wide, from one side of which the waters flowed into the Pacific, 
and on the other, into the Atlantic. To the westward the outlines of the 
Teton Eange, with its saw-like or shark-teeth summits, were most clearly 
visible. They seemed to be covered with an unusual quantity of snow. 
From whatever point of view one can see the Teton Range, the sharp- 
pointed peaks have the form of huge sharks' teeth. To the southward, for 
fifty miles at least, nothing but igneous rocks can be seen. Toward the 
Tetons there is a series of high ridges, of which the Teton Eange seemed 
to be the central one. These ridges, which pass off from the main Teton 
Range, incline to the northeast, and vary in height from 9,500 to 10,500 
feet above the sea-level, and 1,000 to 1,800 feet above the valleys at their 

We ascended one of the high ridges, (not the highest, however,) and 
found it to be 1,650 feet above the valley at its foot. The northeast 
side is like a steep roof, while the southwest side breaks off abruptly. 
From the summit of the ridge, the view is grand in the extreme. To 
the westward the entire country, for the distance of fifty miles, seems to 
have been thrown up into high, sharp ridges, with gorges 1,000 to 1,500 
feet in depth. Beautiful lakes, grassy meadows also, come within the 
vision. I can conceive of no more wonderful and attractive region for 
the explorer. It would not be difficult for the traveler to make his way 
among these grand gorges, penetrating every valley, and ascending 
every mountain or ridge. The best of grass, wood, water, and game are 
abundant to sui)ply the wants of himself or animals. 

I think that numerous passes could be found from the valley of Snake 
River to the basin of the Yellowstone. It seems to me there are many 
points on the south rim of the basin where a road could be made with 
ease into the valley of Snake River. From this ridge it would seem that 
there could be but little difference in the altitude of the Yellowstone Lake 
and Heart Lake, and they cannot be more than eight or ten miles apart, 
and yet the latter is one of the sources of Snake River. The little 
branches of Snake River nearly interlace with some streams that flow 
into the lake, and the gullies come up within two miles of the shore-line. 



There is a very narrow dividing ridge in one place, between the drain- 
age, which may be within one mile of the lake. 

As we have stated in the previous pages of this report, the rocks of this 
basin are mostly volcanic, but on the south side of the divide, between the 
Yellowstone and the sources of the Snake, the series of ridges extending 
southward to the Tetons are largely sedimentary. Carboniferous lime- 
stones occupy restricted areas, while some of the highest ridges are made 
up of Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. One ridge, the summit of which 
was over 10,000 feet above the sea, and overlooks the country for fifty 
miles in every direction, is the exact dividing ridge which separates the 
drainage of the two basins. On the summit and north side of the ridge 
the rocks were smooth, as if vast masses of snow and ice had slidden 
down for ages. The rocks are composed of somber-brown and rusty 
grayish-brown sandstones, in which I found great quantities of leaves 
of deciduous trees. There was one fern and a i)alm of huge dimensions. 
From these exposures of the sedimentary beds, I draw the same conclu- 
sion that I have done so many times previously, that the unchanged rocks 
either now exist or have existed all over the Northwest ; that they may 
have been removed by erosion, concealed by overflows of igneous mate- 
rial, or thrown up into ridges ; but the one final conclusion is, that they 
extended all over the region about the sources of these great rivers, in 
a horizontal position, at a comparatively recent geological period. 

On our return to the east side of the lake from the sources of Snake 
River, we followed down the valley of a little stream that has its origin 
at the foot of the ridge. As it flowed toward the lake, it cut a deep chan- 
nel into the lake deposits, sometimes 50 to 100 feet, well illustrating the 
character of the materials. It was composed at the bottom of grayish- 
white clays, passing up into a sort of bowlder deposit, all derived from 
the degradation of volcanic rocks. 

We may here discuss for a moment, in general terms, the geolo- 
gical character of the mountains on the east side of the lake. The 
tipper Yellowstone Eiver rises in the high volcanic range which shuts 
ofl" the Yellowstone Basin from the Wind Eiver drainage, forming 
what is usually called the great water-shed of the continent. The 
range of mountains on the east and south sides of the Yellowstone 
Basin gives origin to the waters of the Snake Eiver, which flow west 
into the Pacific, to those of Green Eiver, which flow southward into 
the Great Colorado, and to the numerous^ branches of the Yellowstone. 
Upon the east and southeast sides, the mountains seem to be entirely 
of volcanic origin; they are also among the ruggedest and most iuac- 
accessible ranges on the continent. From the valley of Wind Eiver 
they present a nearly vertical wall from 1,500 to 2,000 feet high, which 
has never been scaled by white man or Indian; bat are covered with 
perpetual snows to a greater or less extent. From any high point a 
chaotic mass of peaks of every variety of form may be seen extending 
from the Snake Eiver Yalley to the lower canon of the Yellowstone. 
The general level of the summits is about 10,000 feet, but some of the 
higher peaks reach 10,500 to 11,000 feet. Many of them are the nuclei 
of old volcanic cones, composed of very compact trachyte; others are 
portions of the rim of a vast crater. Mounts Doane and Stevenson are 
fragments of the rim of an immense crater, the layers of trachyte in(;lin- 
ing from the basin on every side; some of the centers of efiusion were 
long fissures, forming ridges. All around these nuclei, and sometimes 
reaching nearly to the summits, are the volcanic conglomerates or brec- 
cias in horizontal strata. Even the highest portions of the mountains, 
the broad ridges that form the ver}' water-shed, are composed ot these 



breccias, and it is quite possible that they even conceal the great mass 
of compact trachyte rock«. At any rate, so far as the eye can reach, 
the true trachyte rocks are exposed only in the form of cones, here and 
there, while the great mass on the surface is the breccia. They are 
continually disintegrating, so that all over the sides of the mountains 
and among the foot-hills there are immense quantities of dchris ; not 
unfrequently huge masses are gradually broken off from the sides of the 
mountains by the combined action of water and ice, leaving a vertical 
wall 50 to 200 feet or more in height. 

From our camp on the east side of the lake, we ascended Mounts 
Doane and Stevenson. Between the lake shore and the summits of 
these peaks, there is a succession of ridges, which measured 8,500, 8,800, 
9,000, 9,200, 9,400 feet, &c. These peaks, with an intermediate lower 
portion, form a part of the rim of a huge crater, and on the inner side 
the layers of trachyte appear like strata, inclining from the crater 10^. 
The rocks are somewhat varied in texture, more or less compact, but 
mostly very compact hornblende trachyte. Near the summit the rocks 
are slightly porous, true basalt, as if they had not been subjected to 
much pressure. Some of the rocks are red or ashen-gray, and have a 
slaty cleavage; the volcanic breccia rises to the height of 2,000 to 2,500 
feet above the lake. 

On the east side, the proofs of the former elevation of the lake may 
be seen 300 to 500 feet high on the sides of the mountains. The little 
streams that cut through the lower hills, along the borders of the lake, 
expose 150 to 200 feet of stratified, recent deposits. Near Steam Point 
the waters of the lake have washed the shores for two or three miles, 
so as to expose 100 to 150 feet of strata, composed of volcanic sand and 
gravel at the bottom, passing up into fine sand, and at the top consider- 
able thickness of coarse sandstone and conglomerates. All these modern 
deposits have been permeated and in part cemented with, the silica 
of the old hot springs. We have said enough about the modern lake 
deposits to establish the fiict that they are worthy of attention, and 
form a portion of the geological history of this basin. We shall only 
allude to them hereafter as we meet them in our travels. 

One of the most remarkable localities for extinct springs is on the 
east side of the southeast arm of the lake, at the head of Alum Creek, 
and marked on the map "Brimstone Basin.'' For half a mile before 
reaching this spot the air is filled with a disagreeable sulphurous smell. 
The deposit is mostly silica* though there is a good deal of sulphur 
mingled with it. In the bed of the little stream that passes through 
the basin are numerous small springs, from which bubbles of gas are 
constantly escaping, probably sulphureted hydrogen. The little creek 
which passes through the basin rises in the higher ridges ten miles dis- 
tant, and, as it passes through the si)ring deposit, is rendered turbid 
like milk. The channel is coated with a creamy-white material, silica 
and sulphur; old pine logs, which must once have formed large trees, 
now lie j)rostrate in every direction over the basin. It covers an area 
of about three miles in extent, and, in some instances, a vertical thick- 
ness of 50 feet was exposed. Not a trace of any spring could be found 
^rith a temperature above ordinary spring-water. From all appear- 
ances, this basin must have been active within a comparatively modern 
period. It is true, however, that these springs are continually becoming 
extinct, and have done so ever since the great period of volcanic activity 
in this region. 

The hot-spring district, above and below Steam Point, is quite inter- 
esting, as showing the remains of what was once a very important group. 



The hot spring area extends about five miles along the lake shore, and' 
is about two miles wide. Steam Point has been, at one time, covered 
with very active springs, but now they are fast becoming extinct. Two 
steam-vents are now in operation, sending forth steam with a noise 
like that of the escape-pipe of a steamboat. A number of small sim- 
mering springs are scattered around these vents. There is here a thick- 
ness of 200 feet of conglomerate, which is made up largely of hot-spring 
deposits. The lake seems to have beaten against the shore, and worn 
away a large portion, leaving a bluff wall 50 feet high above water-level. 
A large mass of the conglomerate has been cut off by the waves, and 
left in the lake 100 feet from the bluff shore. South of Steam Point, 
on the shore of the lake, are about twenty or thirty springs of various 
temperatures, from 110° to 192^. Some are quiet, some bubbling quite 
briskly, and others are true boiling springs. The little steam-vents are 
lined with sulphur. About a mile east of the point, around a little lake, 
there is am extensive group of springs. The ground is covered with 
sulphur, alum, common salt, &c., tinged with oxide of iron. Thick de- 
posits of silica, often tinged with oxide of iron or sulphur, attest the 
former existence of a much larger system of springs than we find here 
at the present time. At one point, in the bed of the little creek that 
flows into the small lake, which is 10 feet wide and 2 feet deep, there is 
a large spring that boils up very fiercely, and yet the temperature is not 
above that of the water of the creek itself. The agitation of the water 
must be due to the escape of gas alone. At Steamboat Point, and around 
the little lake, the ground is in places perforated, like a cullender, with the 
little simmering vents, which denote, I think, the last stages of a sj^stem 
of larger springs. 

Proceeding southward along the shore of the lake, we meet with 
the springs and steam-vents, in greater or less numbers, scattered 
along the shore — ISG^, 183^, 185°, 178o will, perhaps, give the aver- 
age temperatures — all quiet, bubbling, or boiling springs. Sulphur Hills, 
on the north side of the lake, is another of the magnificent ruins, of which 
only a few steam-vents now remain. The deposit, however, is a large 
one, and covers the side of the mountain for an elevation of 600 feet 
along the lake shore, the huge white mass of silica covering an area 
of about half a mile square, and can be seen from any position on the 
lake shore, and appears in the distance like a huge bank of snow. In 
the valley near Pelican Creek, a few springs are issuing from beneath 
the crust, distributing their waters over the bottom, and depositing the 
oxide of iron, sulphur, and silica, forming the most beautiful blending 
of gay colors. Although the waters of the springs are IGO^, yet the 
channels are lined with a thick growth of mosses and other plants, and in 
the water is an abundance of vividly green algous vegetation. The great 
mass of hot-spring material built up here cannot be less than 400 feet 
in thickness. A large portion of it is pudding-stone and conglomerate. 
Some of the rounded masses inclosed in the fine white siliceous cement 
are themselves pure white silica, and are eight inches in diameter. It 
is plain, from the evidence still remaining, that this old ruin has been 
the theater of tremendous geyser action at some period not very remote ; 
that the steam-vents, which are very numerous, are only the dying 
stages. • These vents or chimneys are most richly adorned with brilliant 
yellow sulphur, sometimes a hard amorphous coating, and sometimes 
in delicate crystals that vanish like frost-work at the touch. It seems 
that it is during the last stages of these springs that they adorn them- 
selves with their brilliant and vivid colors. 

We will now bid farewell to this remarkable lake-basin, and, taking a 


nortlieasterly course, pass up the valley of Pelicau Creek, and cross the 
mountains to the east branch of the Yellowstone. We have endeavored 
to explore the great basin with all the care that our time and facilities 
would permit. Much has been left undone, but w e feel certain that we 
have obtained information enough to convince our readers that the region 
we have examined is invested with profound interest. We have explored, 
with much care and detail, one of the most beautiful lakes in the known 
world. Our soundings, which are expressed on the chart in fathoms, 
show that its greatest depth is 300 feet. According to a careful series 
of soundings of Great Salt Lake, Utah, by Mr. Dieffendorf, for the pur- 
pose of finding the deepest channels for a steamer, the average depth 
is only about 12 feet, while the greatest depth was found to be only 60 
feet, and that was between Antelope Island and Stansbury Island. 

We traveled up the valley of Pelican Creek about eighteen miles. Hot 
springs were scattered along the bottom, some of them of considerable 
size and beauty. There w^ere many dead and dying ones, some of 
which indicated great age ; the immediate bottom is incrusted with 
the silica. The average width of the valley is about two miles, and at 
this season of the year (August 23) the grass and other ' vegetation is 
very fresh and abundant. If it were not for the elevation and climate, 
this valley would soon be filled with enterprising, thriving ranchmen 
and farmers. The valley itself is underlaid with the modern lake 
deposits, which extend up almost to the divide. It is plain, from a sys- 
tem of terraces more or less distinct, that the lake once extended high 
up the valley, and that the fertility of the soil and the present 
exuberance of vegetation are due to this fact. The broken range of 
hills and mountains that inclose it on either side are covered with 
forests of pine, and the rocks are entirely of volcanic origin — the 
trachytes and conglomerate. Ten miles up the creek is a pretty little 
cascade, where the waters pour over a descent of 15 feet, which is formed 
of stratified sand and clay. Above the cascade there is a wall CO feet 
high, composed of Pliocene deposits. From the divide the view is far 
extended and very fine. The Grand Canon of the Yellowstone, with its 
group of hot springs, with the deep side-caiions that lead into it, and the 
dense forests of pines, and the north rim of the basin, with the bald, 
black summits of the volcanic peaks projecting above the tree vegetation, 
all are presented to the eye at a single glance. 

We camped at night on the summit of the divide, between the valleys 
of the East Fork and the main Yellowstone, by the side of a little lake 
10,000 feet above the sea. The wonderful group of peaks which extend 
along the source of the Yellowstone, and the branches of the Big Horn, 
from the lake itself to the lower canon, which constitute on the map, the 
Heart and Snow Eanges, were in full view, with all their rugged grand- 
eur. The basaltic cones and broken rims of huge craters were clearly 
visible, while the equally lofty but more rounded, dome-like, conglomer- 
ate peaks could be easily detected by their style of weathering. Deep, 
almost vertical gorges, led down into the valley of the East Fork on the 
east side of us, and on the west into the main Yellowstone. Here and 
there a white patch on the mountain-side or in a valley, looking like a 
bank of snow, showed the former existence of a group of springs. 

We descended to the valley of the East Fork, and camped the night 
of August 24 at the junction of the two main branches. Here we spent 
one day exploring the east branch of the East Fork, which has its sources 
high up among the most rugged and almost inaccessible portions of the 
basaltic range. There are several wonderfully jagged peaks about the 
sources of this branch, which rise up 10,000 to 11,000 feet above the sea. 



I ascended one of the highest, though not the highest, and found it 10,950 
feet. The general average of these peaks is about 10,000 feet. The 
summits of these high peaks are all close, compact trachyte, while all 
around tbe sides are built up walls of stratified conglomerate. It is plain 
that all of them are the nuclei of old volcanoes. The trachyte may 
sometimes be concealed by the conglomerates, but I am inclined to think 
that each one has formed a center of effusion. Large quantities of sili- 
cified wood are found among the conglomerates, mostly inclosed in the 
volcanic cement, evidently thrown out of the active craters with the 
fragments of basalt. My impression is, that when the old volcanoes 
disgorged their contents into the great lake of waters around, they 
threw out also portions from the sedimentary formations, and thus the 
silicified wood comes from the Tertiary or Cretaceous beds, which may 
have formed the upper x^art of the walls of the crater. At any rate, these 
woods belong to the Coal Series of the West, and they are scattered pro- 
fusely among the conglomerates. Interlaced among tbe massive beds of 
volcanic conglomerates, are some layers of a light-gray or whitish, sandy 
clay, which show that the whole breccia or conglomerates, with the inter- 
calated layers of clay or sand, were deposited in water like any sedi- 
mentary water rocks. 

Upon tbe east branch are a few interesting ruins of springs. There 
is one very curious mammiform mound, about forty feet high, built 
up by overlapping layers, like the ^'Cap of Liberty" on Gardiner's 
Eiver, only by much less hydrostatic force. The material is principally 
calcareous. This cone is a complete ruin. No water issues from it at 
the present time, and none of the springs in the vicinity are above the 
ordinary temperature of brook-water; sulphur, alum, and other chemical 
deposits are abundant. This old ruin is a fine example of tbe tendency 
of the cone to close up its summit in its dying stages. The top of 
the cone is somewhat broken ; but it is 18 feet in diameter at this time, 
and near tbe center there is a hole or chimney 2 inches in diameter, 
plainly a steam- vent. This marks the closing history of this spring. 
The inner portions of this small chimney are lined with white enamel, 
thickly coated with sulphur, which gives it a sulphur-yellow hue. The 
base upon which the cone rests varies in thickness. On the east side 
huge masses have been broken off, exposing a vertical wall 20 feet high, 
built up of tbin horizontal laminae of limestone. On the west side the wall 
is not quite as high, jierhaps eight or ten feet. It would seem, therefore, 
that it was at first an overflowing spring, depositing thin horizontal layers, 
until it built up a broad base ten to twenty feet in height; then it gradu- 
ally became a spouting spring, building up with overlapping layers like 
the thatch on a house, until it closed itself at the top and ceased. 

We may inquire again in regard to the origin of tbe lime in this cone. Not 
over a mile below the spring, the Carboniferous limestone comes to the 
surface, and as we follow the river down toward its juncture with the 
main Yellowstone, it soon becomes 400 feet in thickness; hence we 
know that these limestones extend under the valley of this east branch, 
and that the waters passed up through them, and thus we have a pre- 
dominance of lime instead of silica, as is the case at Gardiner's Eiver. 
Over this limestone the basaltic rocks have been poured, rising to the 
height of 2,000 or 2,500 feet above the valley. Immense quantities of 
the broken fragments of basalt have fallen down on the sides of the 
mountains, and, by their bright black color, look like heaps of anthracite 
coal in the distance. About five miles below the junction of the two 
branches of tbe East Fork, the mountains on the east side become quite 
rounded and grass-covered, instead of the bald, black, rugged character 


of those near the sources of the river. The granite rocks begin to 
prevail, and the mountains have an older appearance. The valley is 
full of immense, rounded, granite bowlders, which have been swept down 
^om the mountains by aqueous forces not now in existence. There are 
also in this valley well-defined terraces 30 to 50 feet high, and above 
the forks are rows of basaltic columns like those in the lower portion of 
the Grand Canon. At the mouth of Hell-Eoaring River the granitoid 
rocks are displayed on a grand scale. As I have i)reviously stated, the 
basis rocks of the mountains are granite or gneissic granites; some- 
times they are true granites, as exposed about the junction of the 
East Fork and main branch of the Yellowstone, and at Hell-Eoariug 
Mountain ; even these, perhaps, come under the head of stratified meta- 
morphic rocks, from the fact that above and below these thick, massive 
granites are groups of gneissic strata of various textures. On the east 
fork I saw only the Carboniferous limestones. Although the Jurassic, 
Cretaceous, and Tertiary formations occur in full force at Gardiner's 
Eiver, over all has been poured the igneous material, which rapidly 
increases in mass and importance as we ascend the valley, until, about 
the sources, it entirely covers all other rocks, and sends its multiform 
peaks high up among the perpetual snows. 

The bridge which has been constructed across the Yellowstone, near 
the forks, was designed to accommodate the miners on their way to 
the gold-mines on Clark's Fork, and is the first and only bridge ever 
built on the Yellowstone. It may become a matter of some historical 
importance to note this fact here. The gold-mines are all in the granit- 
oid rocks, and, from what I can learn, all the streams that flow into 
the Yellowstone from the east side of the range cut deep down into the 
met am Orphic group. The mines are reported to be excellent, and I 
am inclined to the belief that the most important mining distTicts of the 
Yellowstone drainage will be found eventually on the eastern slope of 
the Heart and Snowy Eanges. 



In this and the following chapter, I will endeavor to present a brief 
summary of the geological features of the country along our homeward 
journey, from Fort Ellis to Evanston, on the Union Pacific Eailroad. 
In a former chapter I have alluded to the range of mountains which 
extends along the east side of the Gallatin Fork. I also spoke of the 
Pliocene or lake deposits which jutted up against the base of these 
mountains, sometimes reaching a thickness of 600 or 800 feet. 

The beautiful valley of the Gallatin was undoubtedly one of the numer- 
ous lake basins of the West of which so much has been written in my 
reports for years past. The Pliocene hills opposite Fort Ellis and 
Bozeman overlook the valley for a great distance, and at this season 
of the year (September 6) hundreds of acres of golden grain can be seen. 
There is a remarkable uniformity in the bright-yellow color of a field of 
grain in this country, probably due to the uniformity of the climate ; 
the sun shines without interruption for weeks in succession. The mount- 
ains are composed mostly of rocks of Carboniferous age. They incline 



west and southwest, at a variety of angles, 15^ to 80°. East of this 
ridge the Eocene and Cretaceous formations prevaiL 

As we descend the Gallatin, below Flathead Pass, a series of dark- 
brown quartzites, sandstones, and pudding-stones rise up from beneath 
the limestones. Some of the sandstones are very micaceous, as if they 
had been formed out of mica slates of the metamorphic series. I esti- 
mated the thickness to be 1,000 feet, and I have not observed it anywhere 
else along the sources of the Missouri. No fossils were observed, and the 
rocks themselves did not seem to promise any. They may possibly be 
remnants of the Lower Silurian series, left from erosion prior to the de- 
position of the Carboniferous ; at any rate, they appear very old, even 
partially metamorphosed. The dip of these beds is variable, 10^ to 25^ 
northwest, though some local inclinations are greater, with a trend north- 
east and southwest. These rocks extend across the Gallatin, and under- 
lie, to some extent, the terraces and Pliocene deposits between the forks. 
The Gallatin River passes across the edges of this series, showing the 
uplifted strata on both sides, passing up into massive limestones and 
reddish sandstones. The lower series exhibits all the usual signs of 
mud flats and shallow- water deposits in quite a remarkable degree. It 
may be that the center groups, from the metamophic strata up, are of 
Carboniferous age. 

I^ear the junction of the Three Forks, the Pliocene beds are well 
shown, and on both sides of the Madison, for ten miles or more above 
the junction. The bluffs on either side are high, composed of the light- 
colored clays, sands, and sandstones of the lake deposits. A careful 
examination, I have no doubt, would have shown the existence of ver- 
tebrate remains. I heard of the discovery of bones, teeth, and turtles by 
the farmers, but could not secure any. 

The Missouri below the Three Forks, passes through a canon formed of 
the clays and massive limestones of Carboniferous age. On the south 
and west side of the Jefierson the dip, which is slight, 5^ to 10<^, appears 
to be about northwest. About six miles above the junction the lime- 
stones rise up from beneath the lake deposits on the south side of the 
Jefferson in the ridge which forms the tongue or wedge between the 
Jefferson and Madison. The dip is north and northwest, 45^. Imme- 
diately underneath the limestones are the usual gneissic strata, that con- 
tain the gold ores. It is not common for any other beds to be brought 
to the surface between the well-known Carboniferous and the metamor- 
phic ; and so far as the sources of the Missouri and the Eocky Mount- 
ain divide, it is not uncommon for lar^e areas to be occupied by no beds 
newer than the Carboniferous. 

In the valleys of the Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson, we find, on the 
east side of the Gallatin, a range of Carboniferous limestone mountains 
rising up 8,000 to 9,500 feet above the level of the sea. On the north and 
west side of the Jefferson, these limestones form high, nearly vertical walls, 
but between these walls the lake deposits extend up the valleys and form 
the tongues or ridges that extend down between, for ten miles or more, 
and it is only here and there that the older rocks crop out. The lake 
deposits fill the valleys and lap on to the sides of the hills on either side. 
The canon of the Missouri, below the junction of the Three Forks, was 
evidently the outlet of the lake, that had its deepest portion around the 
Three Forks, and set high up in the valleys to the mountains at their 
sources. Ascending the valley of the Jefferson, we passed over the 
high hills on the east side, to avoid the deep canon through which the 
river ran for several miles. Granitic strata cropped out in the valleys 
or gorges, with now and then a protrusion of trachytic basalt. The 



highest ridges were covered with the Carboniferous limestones, which 
l)assed down into some massive beds of quartzites before resting on the 
gneissic granites. 

For ten miles from the Upper Willow Creek to the entrance of the 
Boulder Creek into Jefferson Fork, we have the Carboniferous limestones 
on our right, or west side; on our left, or east side, basalt^ic rocks cover 
the lake deposits. The valley is one to one and one-half miles wide, and 
presents a grand display of the Pliocene marls and sands. The high 
mountains, with the symmetrical cones, are also igneous. Between North 
Boulder and Willow Creeks, a distance of about five miles, the Jefferson 
Fork flows through one of the deepest limestone canons I have yet seen. 
The walls on either side rise from 700 to 1,200 feet, almost vertically. 
The general dip of all the limestones is northwest, and I estimated their 
aggregate thickness at 2,000 feet. Masses of chert occur in the limestones, 
which are filled with fossils, spirifers, corals, and crinoidal fragments. 
The formations are much confused here, from the fact that the basalts 
have been effused at a recent period, even since a large portion of the 
lake deposits were laid down. In the gorges that lead down to the Jeffer- 
son, they are exposed, and here and there are spread out over the marls. 
Now and then the limestones or older rocks crop out from beneath 
them. Along the little streams that flow into the Jefferson as well as 
the Jefferson itself, are distinctly marked terraces of the lake deposits, 
for 50 to 200 feet above the river's bed. 

The North Boulder Creek enters the Jefferson from the north, through 
a synclinal valley. On the west side the beds of limestone incline 
northwest. The general trend of the synclinal is about northeast and 
southwest. On the west side of the North Boulder and on the south 
side of the Jefferson, the Carboniferous limestones prevail almost entirely. 
There are only a few local outbursts of igneous rocks, and not occupy- 
ing large areas. Above the canon the valley of the Jefferson expands 
to a width of one and one-half miles. The lake deposits are again con- 
sjncuous, covering the entire valley and extending up the valleys of the 
vSide- streams. About three miles above the mouth of the North Boulder 
Creek, on the same side of the Jefferson, the ravines cut down into a 
thick series of strata of sandstones, slates, clays, &c., which incline at a 
moderate angle. These beds are, I think, local, and indicate volcanic 
action connected with hot springs during the Pliocene period. The 
clays and sands are variegated, and thick beds of conglomerate occur. 
The highest mountains are composed of quartzites and a group of light 
gray vesicular strata in thin layers, which has somewhat the appearance 
of igneous rocks. White alkaline efflorescence covers. the surface in 
many places. 

I may repeat again that the entire surface seems to have been wrinkled 
or cramped into vast folds or ridges, with a general trend nearly north 
and south, or rather west of north and east of south ; that the valleys of 
the streams are for the most part synclinal depressions. The erosion 
has been so great that it is quite uncommon for rocks of more mod- 
ern date than the Carboniferous to be seen. The great valleys, or syn- 
clinal depressions, during the latter Tertiary period were the basins oi 
fresh-water lakes, so that we have everywhere the white and yellowish- 
white sands, marls, clays, sandstones, and pudding-stones of the Plio- 
cene lake deposits passing up into the Quaternary or local drift. It is 
not uncommon for these modern lake deposits to be swept away, so 
that we know of their former magnitude only by isolated remnants here 
and there. During this lake period changes were going on in the sur- 
face y the general elevation of the country most probably continued, so 


that it is not uncommon to find the Pliocene deposits inclining 5^ 

Subsequent to these depositions, there was a period of intense volcanic 
activity, in which the basalts were poured out over vast areas. We may 
take, for example, the valley of the Jefierson, from the entrance of the 
North Boulder into the Jefierson Eiver to Beaver Head Canon. On the 
east side of tlie Jefferson a range of mountains extends along the valley 
for thirty miles or more, with the northern portions of the west side 
covered with a large thickness of Carboniferous limestones, like a steep, 
flexible roof, the highest conical peaks rising to a height of 2,000 to 
2,500 feet above the valley. At intervals of one to three or four miles, 
these mountains are cleft from summit to base by small streams, forming 
a gorge or caiion of woaderfal grandeur and picturesque beauty. The 
stratified rocks thus reveal a dip varying from 45° to 60°, and apparently 
pass down, curving under the valley and rising with a reversed dip on 
the opposite side. The nucleus of all these ranges is, of course, a group 
of stratified rocks composed of arenaceous clays, slates, quartzites, 
micaceous gneiss, granulites, &c. A great variety of what I have termed 
gneissic granites, granitoid rocks, granulites, metamorphic strata, &c., 
occur. As a general rule, the Carboniferous strata repose unconformably 
on this group of metamorphic strata ; but here and there, a perplexing 
series of beds come in, quite varied in texture and occupying a restricted 
area, but revealing no definite evidence of their age. That all the strati- 
fied rocks known to exist in the Northwest, to the Lower Tertiary inclu- 
sive, once extended all over this region, we have every reason to believe ; 
but about the sources of the Missouri, Yellowstone, and Snake Elvers, 
the Tertiary, Cretaceous, and Jurassic beds have been swept away, except 
remnants exposed here and there. The Carboniferous groups, although 
covering quite large areas, are not unfrequently seen capping the highest 
mountains that suffered erosion to a tremendous extent. The occurrence 
of rocks of Triassic age in the northwest is so problematical as yet, that 
I do not now recognize them. Further investigations may bring to light 
some evidence that will fix the position of the brick-red beds more posi- 
tively, and until that time I prefer to include them Avith the Jurassic. 

The metamorphic group contains the valuable mines of Montana. Not 
unfrequently the most productive gulches are found, where the streams 
have carved out a gorge through a thick series of Carboniferous lime- 
stones, cutting deep into the metamorphic group. The volcanic action 
seems to have taken place during all the later periods, continuing up to 
the present time, and operating with greater or less force at different local- 
ities. The above may be regarded as a brief summary of the principal 
points in the geological structure of Montana and Idaho Territories. It 
remains now to present an account of the local geology from point to 
point, which must be a repetition substantially of this summary. 

The Pliocene deposits extend high up the valleys of the Pipestone 
and White-Tail Deer Creeks, which are quite wide, with mountains on 
either side. On the west side of the Jefferson, the foot-hills show a 
great thickness, 600 to 800 feet. The silicified wood that is found 
occasionally in these deposits is more beautiful than any I have ever 
seen from any other formation. It is pure silica, and must have been 
aided in its silicification by proximity to hot springs. Portions of it look 
like opal or fine chalcedony, and in some portions the rings of growth are 
well shown. As cabinet specimens they are especially sought for, and 
must always be rare. The only other fossils known, are fresh-water and 
land shells, and a few vertebrate remains. Organic remains of any 



kind, will probably never be found in abundance. The mountains on 
the west side of the Jefferson are lower than those on the east side, 
a much wider range, and far less rugged in outline. The Carboniferous 
limestones occur only in restricted patches. The metamorphic group 
is exposed fully, with here and there an outburst, of the trachyte basalt. 
All the little streams, as laid down on the map, cut deep channels from 
the summit to the valley of the Jelierson, and are now or have been 
filled with miners searching for gold. 

The mountains on the west side of Table Mountain and those at the 
Bources of Fish Creek are gneissic and contain valuable mines of gold. 
The limestone range on the east side of the Jefferson is cut off' by the river 
temporarily, at the bend where White Tail Deer and Pipestone Creeks 
enter it ; but it commences again on the opposite side and extends far 
northward. The Jefferson Valley is from five to eight miles wide and 
of oval shape, narrowing to a canon at either end. The east range 
trends about northwest and southeast, while the limestones on the west 
side dip southwest. They appear to rise vertically out of the valley 
plain, as if the whole range had either been carried up vertically in a 
narrow belt, or that it was caused by depression and elevation ; that as 
the range arose the valley was depressed, producing this abrupt flexture 
in the limestone strata. At Silver Star the metamorphic group comes 
in close to the Jefferson on the west side, and continues far up for 
several miles. The strata incline southeast and extend across the 
mountains and hills in long and quite regular lines. There are here 
two important gold lodes, Iron Eod" and Green Campbell." The 
latter is seven to ten feet wide, with quartz that pays well. It has been 
wrought for three years with success. 

Just north of Silver Star" there are some patches of limestone that 
extend up almost to the summit of the range. This range of mountains 
lies between Deer Lodge Valley and that of the Jefferson ; and although 
the rocks are mostly metamorphic, yet there are remnants enough of 
the Carboniferous limestone to show that it formerly extended over the 
area occupied by the mountains. The elevation of this granitoid range 
is not as great as the limestone range on the east side. It will average 
from 800 to 1,500 feet above the valley, some of the peaks reaching 
1,000 to 1,500 feet above the bed of the Jefferson. About three miles 
below the forks of Beaver Head and Big-Hole Rivers, the Stinking 
Water comes in from the southeast and forms a sort of breach in the 
limestone range. The latter turns off to the southeast, the limestones 
cease entirely, and the numerous little branches of the Stinking Water 
cut deep into the metamorphic strata, forming good mining gulches. 
On the west side of the Stinking Water the high limestones continue 
northward to the sources of Stinking Water and Black-Tail Deer Creek, 
where they were studied by us on our journey to Virginia City in June. 
The valley of the Stinking Water is from four to six miles in width, and 
extends up to the canon, in full view of the Jefferson Valley, so that 
our two belts of explorations connect from time to time. 

Beaver Head Eock is Carboniferous limestone, with a dip 23° southwest. 
It seems to be a portion of a ridge extending across the valle^^ from the 
Stinking Water Range. The Beaver Head Fork cuts a narrow channel 
through it, forming a sort of canon, with limestone walls on either side. 
Passing Beaver Head Rock, the strata, which are well shown for miles along 
the west side of the Beaver Head Fork, seem to incline southwest j and 
I have no doubt from the style of surface weathering that beds of more 
modern date, Jurassic or Cretaceous, appear soon on the summits of the 
mountain hills. Around Bannock City, about twelve or fifteen miles 


distant, several outcroppings of coal have been found, which would in- 
dicate the presence of Upper Cretaceous or Lower Tertiary beds. Above 
the Carboniferous limestones, were several layers of sandstone, clays, and 
quartzites. The sandstones have been used successfully in the manu- 
facture of grindstones. There is no doubt that as we ascend the Eocky 
Mountain divide, beds of comparatively modern age appear. 
. The geology of all this region is exceedingly complicated, and must 
be studied with more care than I could give it, to represent it in colors 
on a map. This will require a most careful, detailed survey, though the 
general character of the geology will be found to be as I have presented 
it in this report. Our journey homeward was so rapid that I could not 
do more than work out the geological features immediately along the 
route. The details will be wrought in from year to year, as the great 
work of exploration goes on. 

As we crossed Black-Tail Deer Creek, in ascending the broad, open 
valley of the Beaver Head, we could look up the valley to the southeast 
and see distinctly marked on the horizon, thirty miles distant, the 
limestone range at the sources of the Black-Tail Deer Creek. The val- 
ley itself is occupied with a large thickness of the lake deposits, while 
on the north side the hills are composed of metamorphic rocks, and on 
the south, far below Wild Cat Canon, we find the Carboniferous lime- 
stones inclining from the sides of the mountains, the nucleus granitic, 
with extensive outpourings of trachytic basalt. 

At Ryan's Station the valley closes up for a time, and the passage of 
the Beaver Head Fork through the trachyte, forms the well-known 
Beaver Head Caiion. The igneous rocks are of great variety and tex- 
ture. Just below the lower entrance of the caiion, on both sides of the 
river, there is a beautiful, brittle, light-purplish, and whitish porphyritic 
trachyte or calico rock. Immense masses of unusually perfect breccia, 
the angular masses set in a white cement, have fallen down on the 
sides and at the base of the mountains. As we look up the canon from 
below, the river seems to rush through a narrow gateway with vertical 
walls, with dark-purplish basalt weathered into most picturesque forms. 
From one point of view above the caiion, the rocks on either side pre- 
sent the form of animals couchant, which, in the imagination of the 
Indian, had a resemblance to the beaver j hence the name which is ap- 
plied to the river as well as the canon. Along the canon in several 
localities are tepid springs flowing down the sides of the caiion and 
depositing great quantities of calcareous tufa. About one mile up the 
canon, on the west side, there is near the road a high, nearly vertical 
exposure of 200 feet of soft, yellow and gray limestones, inclining 10^ 
to 25^ south of west. In this limestone are layers made up of casts of 
shells. They are not sufficiently distinct to be identified, but are proba- 
bly Carboniferous, though the texture of these rocks is different from 
any I have met with the present season. Rising up from beneath this 
group of arenaceous limestones are 300 feet of gray sandstones, break- 
ing off vertically in columnar masses, presenting a singularly picturesque 
appearance. As far up as the mouth of Horse Plain Creek the reddish 
and gray sandstones and limestones are seen on both sides of the river, 
with here and there tremendous outbursts of igneous material. The 
latter sometimes assumes nearly the usual columnar form of basalt, and 
forms mountains 1,000 to 1,500 feet high above the river, weathered all 
over the summits into sharp pinnacles. The igneous rocks make fine 
pictures for the i)hotographer. The river originally flowed along a 
monoclinal interval, at first separating the sedimentary beds from the 
metamorphic, but flowing to the northeast, while the trend of the mount- 



ains Wiis northwest. It leaves a wide belt of the sedimentaiy strata 
on the east side, near Horse Phiin Creek. At a point in the canon, 
where Clark's Creek enters the Beaver Ilead from the east side, there 
is an enormons belt of singular, shity trachj^tes, forming high walls on 
both sides of the road. Immense quantities of debris^ composed of the 
fragments of compact basalt, lie on the side and at the base of the hills 
on either side. At the mouth of Horse Plain Creek the valley expands, 
the Beaver Head Valley extending up to the southeast, reaching the 
Eocky Mountain water-shed and Horse Plain Creek Valley trending to the 
southwest, to the same great divide j both valleys are broad, fertile, and 
are now occupied by settlers. The elevation is so great that the climate 
is very severe during the winter. One mile below Beaver Head Canon 
the altitude is 4,988 feet 5 at the junction of Horse Plain Creek and 
Beaver Head, nine miles above, 5,130 feet. From this point to the 
main Ilocky Mountain divide it is thirty-three miles, and the elevation 
is 7,405 feet. 

Although the soil is fertile, and during the summer season tlie grass 
is excellent, yet the altitude about the sources of these streams is too 
great for successful farming or grazing. About six months of the year 
the grazing is of superior character, but during the winter months I am 
of the opinion that stock must be driven down below the canon for 
safety. At the junction of Horse Plain Creek with the Beaver Head, a 
broad valley has been worn out of the nplifted ridges of Carboniferous 
strata 5 but just at the junction there is quite a conspicuous remnant of 
a limestone ridge that escaped erosion, which forms a sort of land-mark. 
On both sides of Horse Plain Creek, as well as the Beaver Head, the 
Carboniferous beds are elevated in ridges inclining at various angles. 
Prom its source to the junction of Horse Plain Creek, the Beaver Head 
flows through a synclinal depression, the sedimentary rocks inclining 
from the Black-tail Deer Kange on the east side, w^hile on the west side 
the same beds incline from a range that extends northward between 
the Horse Plain and Beaver Head branches. Below the junction of 
Horse Plain, the Beaver Head tlows along a sort of monoclinal interv^al, 
while the Horse Plain, which comes in from the west, carves its valley 
through the ridges nearly at right angles. At one locality, in an anti- 
clinal valle^^, which runs up northward from Horse Plain Valley, the 
quartzites and micaceous schists of the metamorphic group rise up 
beneath the limestones and reddish quartzites of Carboniferous age, over 
a small area. Thence westward we pass over ridge after ridge of lime- 
stones, quartzites, and arenaceous clays to the sources of Horse Plain 
Creek. Throughout all these valleys, and jutting up against the sides 
of the mountain hills that inclose them on either side, the Pliocene 
deposits are always found of greater or less thickness. On the imme- 
diate bottoms of the Horse Plain there is an unusual amount of the 
alkaline efflorescence, or sulphate of soda, covering acres, as white as 

As we pass up the valley toward the divide, a great thickness of 
sandstones and quartzites, at least 1,500 to 2,000 feet, is exposed above 
the well-known Carboniferous limestones, forming ridges which rise 
800 to 1,000 feet above the valleys. The quartzites are so compact and 
durable that they do not disintegrate, and the hills as well as the val- 
leys are covered with the stray fragments. Here and there a dark, 
abrupt mass forms the summit of a hill, weathered, perhaps, into sharp 
l^innacles, indicating a point of eJffusion of basalt. On a little branch of 
the Horse Plain Creek, called by the Indians Sage Creekj there are three 
10 a s 



quite prominent points of eruption in the range of hills on the east side 
of the valley. 

The mountains on either side are principally Carboniferous and 
Jurassic, and the valley itself is surrounded with rolling foot-hills, com- 
posed of the lake deposits i:)assing up into a great thickness of local 
drift. On either side the rounded, dome like peaks rise up 1,000 
to 2,000 feet above the valley, which itself is 6,252 feet above the sea. 
It would be impossible to describe in detail the geological structure of 
so extended an area of country. Precipitous walls of Carboniferous 
limestone can be seen on either side; but so chaotic are the positions of 
the beds in different localities, so obscured by more modern deposits, or 
the outpouring of basalt, that it can only be by pictorial illustrations 
that can be presented to the eye that the mind can form a conception 
of this remarkable region. I shall therefore hasten on, making a few 
observations from point to point, referring my readers to a more com- 
plete and illustrated report hereafter to be prepared for a clearer under- 
standing of my descriptions. 

On both sides of Sage Creek, about six miles above its junction with 
Horse Plain Creek, we find a series of more modern strata. They form 
the foot-hills of the mountains on each side, extending in some instances 
nearly to the summits. On the west side they incline from the range 
about northwest, and on the east side, southeast. Group one, is a series 
of strata of sandstones and arenaceous clays of various textures, which 
I supposed to represent No. 1, or Lower Cretaceous 5 group two, com- 
posed of a bed of earthy lignite, passing up into a dark chalkj^ slate, 
with many fish-scales and some beautiful impressions of ferns and other 
plants. These shales are nearly vertical, and in some instances dip 
past a vertical. I regarded these beds as No. 2 Cretaceous, then passing 
up into yellow chalky beds which might represent No. 3, then upward 
through clays, sandstones, arenaceous limestones, &c., a thickness of 
several hundred feet. No shells could be found after a patient search 
of several hours. The more modern beds. Cretaceous or Tertiary, and 
possibly both, by more readily yielding to atmospheric agencies, have 
given a smoother and more rounded form to the mountain hills, and 
permitted them to be covered with a thick growth of vegetation. Near 
the head of Sage Creek there is a fine group of mountain peaks, 7,500 
to 9,000 feet high. They extend along the divide from Eed Eock 
Creek to Horse Plain Creek, thirty to fifty miles, and may be re- 
garded as remarkable for their symmetrical beauty. At one locality 
there is an exposure of purplish granulites of the metamorphic group, 
revealed by the local wearing away of the Carboniferous limestones. 
As we ascend Sage Creek toward the high divide, we have an occa- 
sional exposure of gneiss, enough to show that the nucleus of the 
mountain ranges is composed of the metamori)hic series, with its rocks 
of varied textures. Here are some purplish granulites, micaceous gneiss, 
with so large a per cent, of mica that tlie mass presents a brilliant black 
color in the distance. Over them are the limestones, sometimes lifted 
high upon the summits of the mountains, almost horizontal or forming 
nearly vertical walls on the sides inclosing the narrow valleys. Then 
come the trachytic basalts of various colors and textures, affecting the 
adjacent rocks more or less. The quartzites, which are the i)rincipal 
rocks exposed on the immediate divide, have been subjected to the heat 
of the igneous rocks so that they appear in the distance, dark-brown like 
compact trachytes. 

I may now delay for a moment and make a few general remarks 
on the geology of the Rocky Mountain divide. We have already 


described in as brief terms as we could, the character of the vast area 
drained by the three forks of the Missouri ; ^ e have shown that the 
mountain ranges lie along the borders of the synclinal valleys, which 
were originally the basius of fresh-water lakes. All these ranges have 
a general trend north and south, or northwest and southeast, and yet 
they are here and there connected by cross-chains, as it were, which 
give origin to small branches. If we look on the map, (and every map 
of this country now in existence is very imperfect,) we shall see the 
three grand streams that constitute the three forks of the Missouri. 
The main branches flow through valleys which now expand out to a 
width of three to five miles, then close up in a deep gorge or cahon, 
then expand out again into broad, fertile, grassy valley so with each 
from mouth to source. These expansions, or broad valleys, have all been 
lake-basins during the last portion of the Tertiary i3eriod, and perhaps 
extended into the Drift or Quaternary. On either side, these valleys are 
inclosed by more or less lofty ranges of mountains, broken here and 
there by the entrance of some branch, or by some turns in the main 
river cut through, and another range takes its place. Again, if we look 
at a correct map we shall see that each one of these main rivers has 
numerous branches flov/ing in from either side, and that many ot these 
branches have their small tributaries fed by the snows upon these 
high mountain ranges. Each one of these principal branches, inclosed 
by a range of mountains, is sometimes so low that I have called them 
mountain hills. There is no doubt that these valleys are partly due to 
erosion, but they are for the most part synclinal folds, and the inter- 
vening mountain ridges are a wedge-like mass of Carboniferous limestone, 
the beds inclining from both sides like the steep roofs of a house. Not 
unfrequently the great mass of limestone has been swept away, and the 
ranges are less lofty and more rounded, exposing to atmospheric agen- 
cies the metamorphic rocks, and here are located the valuable mines. 
Sometimes, through the metamorphic strata, and even the sedimentary 
rocks, the fluid interior has burst forth, forming a long line of high, 
black, conical peaks, usually covered with perpetual snows. 

We may say of a large portion of Idaho and Montana that the surface 
is literally crumpled or rolled up in one continuous series of mountain 
ranges, fold after fold. Perhaps even better exami)les of these remark- 
able folds may be found in the country drained by Salmon Eiver and its 
branches, where lofty ranges of mountains, for the most part covered 
with limestones and quartzites of the Carboniferous age, wall in all the 
little streams. None of our published maps convey any idea of the 
almost innumerable ranges. We might say that from longitude 110^ to 
1180j a distance of over five hundred miles, there is a range of mountains, 
on an average, every ten to twenty miles. Sometimes the distance across 
the range in a straight line, from the bed of a stream in one valley to the 
bed of the stream in the valley beyond the range, is not more than five 
to eight miles, while it is seldom more than twenty miles. From these 
statements, which we believe to be correct, the reader may form some 
conception of the vast amount of labor yet to be performed to explore, 
analyze, and locate on a suitable scale these hundreds of ranges of 
mountains, each one of which is worthy of a name. As we approach 
the great divide or crest of the water-shed we might sai)pose that rocks 
of very ancient date would be the only ones exposed, but those of more 
modern origin prevail. Rocks older than Carboniferous are the excep- 
tion. The crest of this water-shed is an irregular ridge from 7,000 to 
8,000 feet above the sea, with here and there along the line, peaks or 
groups of peaks 0,000 to 11,000 feet high. The lower portions of the 



crest are almost entirely destitute of timber of any kind, but are covered 
over TTith short grass. The ascent from either side is so gradual that 
it is difficult to detect the fact that one is passing over the water-shed 
of the continent. Eocks of all ages, from the Carboniferous to the most 
modern, Tertiary inclusive, are found. 

After passing the divide, we descended the Medicine Lodge Creek 
toward Snake Eiver Basin. In the Carboniferous limestones on both 
sides of the valley, the fossils were quite abundant. Among them was 
a variety of corals, and several species of Froductus, among them P. 
semireticulatus, &c. The surface, as far as the eye can reach on either 
side, is extremely rugged, raised into ridges, and cut into deep canons. 
Here and there a fine dome-shaped peak rises high above all the rest, 
9,000 to 10,000 feet above the level of the sea. The Medicine Lodge 
Creek commences in little bogs or springs near the divide, and soon the 
aggregated waters from numbers of little side- valleys, extending down 
from among the hills and ridges on both sides, form a good-sized trout- 
stream. I think I never saw a stream, large or small, more fully crowded 
with trout. There were two species, each equally abundant ; and yet this 
stream sinks beneath the surface and is lost entirely twenty-five miles 
before reaching Snake Eiver. The limestones and quartzites seem to 
monopolize the country for a belt of thirty to fifty miles in width, 
extending east and west on both sides of the divide. 

Our camp was made in a singular basin, a sort of synclinal depression, 
an average of three miles in width and about eighteen miles long, cov- 
ered over with gi^ass, but no timber, scarcely a shrub. The valley must 
be at times a complete marsh or bog. It is covered with singular sink- 
holes. They are round holes ten feet below the surface, and full of 
rounded bowlders; and in the spring of the year, when the snows 
on the surrounding hills melt, there is a great accumulation of water, 
which in the autumn passes away to the main water-courses, among the 
bowlders underneath the superficial deposit of soil. We see, therefore, 
that on the very summit of the Eocky Mountain divide, the Pliocene 
lake deposits occur, as well as immense accumulations of the local drift 
or Quaternary. 

At some future period, in a general resume of the geology of the West, 
these statements will be referred to. In my preliminary reports I desire 
to confine myself mostly to a simple statement of what I saw along the 
route, that the observations may be placed on record lor future use. 
Our first camp on Medicioe Lodge Creek was 0,110 feet above the sea. 
The high mountain hills on either side are 800 to 1,500 feet above the 
valley, some of the highest peaks 2,500 feet or more. One high ridge of 
Carboniferous limestone was found to be 700 feet above camp, by barom- 
eter. One of the i:>rincipal features of this valley is a most remarkable 
deposit from springs, which must have occurred far back in the Pliocene 
period. It is far the largest I have ever seen in the West, and may serve 
to illustrate the influence which springs may have in the formation of the 
earth's crust. It seems to have filled up a synclinal trough. The Car- 
boniferous limestones incline from the sides of the mountains that inclose 
the valley, and the deposit is arranged in nearly horizontal layers, jut- 
ting up against the sides of the valley, while the stream itself has cut its 
channel through it, thus exposing a fair section to the eye. On the east 
side of the creek, the wall is 100 to 200 feet high, made up of rather 
massive layers of most beautiful white limestone, some of it porous like 
heavy tufa, but most compact like the old Hot Spring limestone on Gar- 
diner's Eiver. Above it, and conforming to the bed of limestone, are 
about 80 feet of gray volcanic ash, forming a soft, sometimes porous, 



chalky rock; this is capped T^ith a layer of very hard, purplish-drab 
basalt of variable thickness. This deposit extends down the valley of 
the Medicine Lodge six miles, with an average of four miles in width, and 
I estimated the entire thickness to be 400 to GOO feet. The deposit itself 
has been lifted up, so as to form a sort of anticlinal, that is, the strata 
inclining each way from the river channel at an axis, 5° to 8°. The 
lovrer i)ortion is very much like the Hot Springs deposits at Gardiner's 
Eiver, hard and w hite as snow ; some of it is a pudding-stone, made up 
of worn pebbles. The upper portion is variable, as if volcanic action 
had existed at the same time. The limestone in some places passes up 
into thin layers of a white, fine, calcareous sandstone. As we descend 
the creek the beds of limestone, volcanic ash, and basalt diminish in 
thickness, and over all is a heavy bed of black porous basalt. It is 
probable that during the lake period this valley was the center of one 
of the most active groups of hot springs on the continent; that the 
principal time of deposition i^receded the last period of volcanic action, 
when the basalt that covered the Snake Eiver Basin with its huge crust 
issued forth. We can trace its history step by step by the strata; and 
although we could discover no sign of any water in the vicinity above 
the ordinary temperature of river-water, yet there is no doubt that this 
indicates one of the largest deposits of the kind yet known in the West. 
W^e may inquire from what source all this calcareous material was 
derived. If this is a synclinal valley, and I so regard it, then the vast 
thickness of Carboniferous limestones which we see on the sides, and 
extending to the summits of the highest mountains, at least 3,000 feet 
in thickness, dips down beneath the valley and rises again on the 
opposite side. The waters permeating such a mass of limestone could 
dissolve an unlimited amount of lime. 

The valley of the Medicine Lodge, for fifteen miles above the Snake 
River Basin, passes through a deep gorge, with wails of basalt and bas- 
altic conglomerate on either side. At the point where we ascend the 
hill on the west side of Medicine Lodge, the hot-spring deposits have 
diminished to about 80 feet in thickness, and, with a fiexurelike a bow, 
bend down, beneath the bed of the stream, out of sight. We then 
have, as the lower portion of the wall, 100 feet of very coarse breccia or 
conglomerate, capped with a bed of basalt; then 200 feet of yellow ma- 
terial, like marl, undoubtedly volcanic ashes, &c. This also is capped 
with a bed of basalt. The valley or canon of the Medicine Lodge is 
450 to 550 feet below the sloping plain line. All over the plains there 
is great abundance of very rough basalt, full of holes, of quite modern 

W^e have saixl enough in this report to show that the portion of the 
West drained by the Snake Eiver and its tributaries is full of interest. 
We have examined only two or three of the numbers of little streams 
that carve deep channels from the divide down into the basin for more 
than two hundred miles — all of them undoubtedly presenting features 
of the highest interest. Fold after fold of mountain ranges extend to 
the westward to an unknown distance, very few of which are laid down 
on any of our maps. 





I will not delay, at this time, to discuss the many interesting prob- 
lems connected with the great basin of Snake Riv-er. Further examioa- 
tions will add greatly to the observations we now possess. Indeed, it is 
hardly possible, in these preliminary reports, to do more than to make a 
brief record of field-notes. The great lines of thought which are opened 
np in every direction by the wonderful phenomena of this singular re- 
gion must be followed persistently to their legitimate conclusions. Time 
and careful study will be required to work out all the results, and these 
cannot be given at this period. Our barometric observations indicate 
the altitude of Fort Hall to be 4,720 feet above the level of the sea. 
This will form our starting-point homeward from the basin, and, inas- 
much as most of the way will be toward higher altitude, we may thus 
know the grade from point to point. 

On our way up to Fort Ellis, in June, we ascended the Cache Valley, 
and, passing the divide, descended one of the more western branches of 
the Port Neuf into the Port ISTeuf Canon ; then into the Snake River 
Basin. On our return, we crossed the divide between the Blackfoot Fork 
and the Port ^^euf, 5,9G4 feet, down into a broad valley, a kind of synclinal 
depression between the high ranges of mountains. In this valley, the 
sources of the main branch of the Port Neuf gather together before 
cutting through the ranges of mountains. 

I have, in a previous chapter, noted briefly the formations along the 
east side of the Snake Basin, in the vicinity of Fort Hall. The Jurassic 
and Carboniferous groups of strata form the bulk of the sedimentary 
rocks, with the Pliocene or Lake deposits jutting up into the ravines or 
valleys, and sometimes occurring high up on the sides of the mountains. 
The range of mountains which fonned the eastern wall of the Cache Valley 
in its northward extension seems to have broken up into irregular frag- 
ments after reaching the rim of the basin, and, with the exception of a 
few rather high peaks, seldom reaches an elevation of more than 6,000 or 
7,000 feet on the east border of the basin. I did not observe rocks of 
Cretaceous or Lower Tertiary age here, though I think a more careful 
examination will reveal them. Origins lly there was a system in the 
formation of the mountain hills on the east side of the basin, but subse- 
quent to their upheaval the outbursts of igneous material have produced 
apparent chaos. The sedimentary formations at this time incline in 
every direction and at all angles. 

After crossing the divide, we descended into an open, grassy valley, 
extending to the northern bend of Bear River, averaging about three 
miles in width, but expanding, near the point where the sources of the 
Port Neuf unite and cut through the mountains, to a width of five miles. 
On the east side, the range of hills is entirely composed of Carbonifer- 
ous 1 mestones, so far as I could ascertain after a careful examination. 
This range of hills is composed of broken ridges, which rise for 800 to 
1,500 feet above the level of the valley. One ridge, which I measured 
with care, as an average, was 1,100 feet. In many localities these lime- 
stones were charged with fossils. In no portion of the Rocky Mountain 
Range have I seen them of greater abundance and variety. Quite thick 
layers of a compact, bluish limestone were entirely composed of corals 
and crinoidal stems. In the valley itself the basaltic covering is ex- 
posed here and there, though it is not quite as conspicuous as it is 



either east or west of the limestone range. The evidence is plain 
enough, Iiowever, that the basalt did originally form a thick covering 
in this valley. 

Near the bend of Bear Iliver are several points of effusion, and three 
or four ruins of old craters can be seen. On the east side of the lime- 
stone ridges, in the valleys of the sources of the Blackfoot Fork, there 
are a number of real craters, the rims of which are composed of lava of 
quite modern appearance. One of these craters, not more than ten 
miles north of the Soda Springs, is very distinct, about one hundred and 
fifty yards in diameter, from one edge of the rim to the other, nearly 
circular; the west side of the rim is about 50 feet above the grass-cov- 
ered, inner space, which is eighty yards in diameter. All the rocks are 
extremely porous, and have the appearance of comparatively recent 
action. Indeed, but few, if any, important changes have taken place in 
the surface since the eruption of these basalts, and therefore it must 
have occurred either during or immediately prior to our present period. 

In general terms, we may describe this portion of the country as com- 
posed of nearly parallel ranges of mountains or mountain hills, seldom 
rising more than 1,500 feet above the intervening valleys, but with here 
and there a higher peak 2,000 to 2,500 feet. On the east side and ex- 
tending off to the drainage of Green Eiver, these ranges are mostly 
composed of limestones or quartzites, which are undoubtedly of Carbon- 
iferous age. They trend nearly north and south, and, though sometimes 
broken up at points, preserve a remarkable degree of uniformity. They 
are folds or wrinkles in the crust, from the surface of which nearly or 
quite all the older sedimentary rocks have been removed by erosion, 
leaving the Carboniferous group in pretty nearly its full force. On the 
west side, however, about the lower caiion of the Port ISeuf, the lime- 
stones have been stripped away, and an immense thickness of meta- 
morphic strata of uncertain age is exposed. In the intervening valleys, • 
are the Lake deposits, as usual, and. at a modern date, the evidence of 
the eruption of the basalt. About the sources of this Blackfoot Fork, 
the influences of the basaltic outflows are very marked. Along the sides 
of the ranges of hills or mountains are deep ravines, extending up to 
the crest or water-divide. They are seldom canons or gorges, though 
the walls are in some instances rather abrupt. These ravines gather 
the drainage from the hills, and in the valleys numerous springs break 
forth, the vv^aters of which contain great quantities of lime in solution. 
Large deposits of this lime are met with long before reaching Soda 
Springs at the bend of Bear River. Indeed, this group of springs, which 
is usually very remarkable, is but the center of a great district ex- 
tending in every direction, only the ruins of which remain at the pres- 
ent time. Some of these ruins bear traces, at this time, of a good deal 
of former beauty. In one locality quite a large area was covered with 
the semicircular basins, with scalloped rims. 

But one of the most remarkable features of this region is the bend of 
Bear liiver. By examining the map it will be seen that the river, after 
flowing nearly northward from the Uintah Mountains about two hundred 
and fifty miles, makes an abrupt bend, and returns, flowing southward 
about the same distance into Great Salt Lake, not more than fifty miles 
from its source. There is really only one important range of mountains 
or hills between the two portions of the river. I was unable to obtain 
from the i)resent surface features of tlie country, a satisfactoiy reason for 
the singular conduct of this river. The wide parallel valley which comes 
up over the lake, known on the maps as Cache Valley, opens directly into 
the Upper Port Neuf, and continues nearly to Fort Uall, while Bear River • 



"has apparently cut its way directly tlirongh one of the great limestone 
ranges, and abruptly Ilexes around and flows southward. The river cuts 
the end of the mountain-range that extends up in tlie bend, so that the 
north end forms a high, i^recipitous mountain wall. The river runs 
through a deep gorge of basalt. On the opposite side there is a steep 
wall of limestone 800 to 1,000 feet high. The passage from Upper 
Port Neuf to Upper Bear Elver Valley is a narrow gateway about half 
a mile wide. The general trend of all these ranges is nearly northwest 
and southeast; the inclination of the limestones 15^ to 30^, though in 
some exceptional cases extensive groups of strata incline as high as 60<^. 

The high range, which can be seen so distinctly extending far south- 
ward from Soda Springs within the bend, is only a portion of the im- 
mense limestone range seen on the east side of Cache Valley as we jour- 
neyed northward in June. It is entirely composed of the old quartz- 
ites and underneath them the well-defined Carboniferous limestones, as 
shown in the Wahsatch Kange, the liaiestones and the quartzites again 
overlying the limestones. I could not discover any traces of the usual 
metamorphic group. There is a broad belt of country lying between 
the drainage of Snake and Green Rivers, which is formed of a series of 
folds in the crust, that have not yet been worked out in detail. In all 
this belt it is seldom that rocks older than the Carboniferous are ex- 

At the bend of Bear Elver, is located the most interesting group of 
soda springs known on the continent. They occupy an area of about 
six square miles, though the number is not great. At this time they 
may be called simply remnants of former greatness. Numerous mounds 
of dead or dying springs are scattered everywhere, and only a few seem to^ 
be in active operation. So far as the manner of building up the calcare- 
ous mounds is concerned, it does not differ from that of the hot springs 
in the Yellowstone Valley, and it may be that they were boiling springs 
at some period in the past. At the present time they are not usually much 
above the temperature of ordinary spring- water. In one or two instances 
the active springs were found to be luke-warm. Nearly all the springs 
were in a constant state of more or less agitation from the bubbles of 
gas that were ever escaping. In a few cases the water is thrown up 2 
to 4 feet. One spring with a basin 10 feet in diameter, with the surface 
covered over with bubbling points from carbonic acid gas escaping, had a 
temperature of 61Jo ; another bubbling spring, 05^. The Bear Eiver 
cross-cuts a number of the mounds, thus revealing the secret of their 
structure. The mounds vary from a few feet to twenty or thirty feet 
high, built up, in the same way as the hot-spring cones, by overlapping 
layers. There are many of these mounds, which show, by the steepness 
of the sides, the amount of hydrostatic pressure. Many of the chim- 
neys are nearly vertical, with the inner surface coated over with a sort 
of porcelain. At one point on the margin of Bear Eiver there are two 
steam-vents, from which the gas is constantly escaping with a noise 
like a low-pressure engine. Kear the edge of the river there is a beau- 
tiful spring with a chimney about two feet in diameter lined inside and 
out with a l3right-yellow coating of oxide of iron, in which the water is 
thrown up two feet by a constant succession of impulses. The inner por- 
tions of the chimney are lined with the porcelanic coating as smooth 
as glass, and tinged through with a bright yellow from its iron. Near 
the foot of the hills, a mile from the river, there is a soda-spring, with 
a mound about 10 feet high, with a large rim 30 by 100 feet, but with 
a small quantity of water ('ompared with what formerly flowed from it ; 
temperature, 53-Jo. Near this spring are a number of large springs 



issuing from beneatli the hills of limestone without the deposit or the 
taste of the acidulous ones; so that we have in close proximity and appa- 
rently coming from the same rock, with about the same temperature, 
acidulous and non-acidulous springs. There were two springs, the 
waters of which were above the ordinary temperature, respectively, 
7G^o and 7So. 

S'ear the Mormon village are a number of mounds and springs, which 
will always attract attention. One of them is located near the margin 
of Soda Creek. It has formed a small chimney about 2 J feet in diameter, 
G feet above the creek, and the water boils up most violently. One 
would suppose from the agitation of these springs that a large 
quantity of water must necessarily flow from them ; but the quantity is 
always small, and in some cases none. In the middle of Soda Creek, 
which at this i)oint is about 25 feet wide and 3 feet deep, there are 
several points of ebullition, showing the presence of springs beneath. 
Within 100 feet of the fine spring owned by Hon. W. 11. Hooper, there 
are three singular cone-shaped chimneys with water in a constant state 
of ebullition, but with no visible outlet. All around these springs there 
is a deposit of iron of a bright-orange color. In the bed of Bear Eiver 
there are a number of springs which can be seen from a distance by the 
ebullition. Although the flow of water from these springs does not seem 
to be great, yet there will always be enough for the demand of visitors 
for drinking [)urposes. There are some mounds that have been buildup 
in thin layers and rounded gradually to their summits, 30 to 50 feet 
high, and from 50 to 300 feet in diameter at the base ; these have been 
at a former period, large springs, but are now in their last stages. Some 
of these springs have gradually built up a mound in tlie form of a hay- 
cock or a bee-hive, and before dying or breaking ont in another place 
w^ould close themselves up at the summit. One of the largest of these 
mounds closed itself up at the top, all except a chimney about 4 feet 
in diameter, with an aperture of about 4 inches. It was once a spring 
of great force, but gradually died away until it ceased entirely. But 
the most interesting exhibition of the soda-spring deposit is found on 
Soda Creek, about four miles above its junction with Bear Kiver. There 
is here an area of half a mile square, covered over with the semicircular 
reservoirs, with scalloped rims, similar to those on Gardiners Eiver, 
except that they are much coarser. Some of the rims are and 8 feet 
high. The process of building up these reservoirs is going on now, but 
the center of operation is constantly changing. The partitions of these 
reservoirs are sometimes several feet in thickness, and are usually hol- 
low, forming extensive caverns. The inner sides are most beautifully 
lined with a calcareous bead-work like coral, as white as snow. There 
are also rows of small stalactites, which add much to the ornamentation. 
All around these springs, in the channels along which the water Hows, 
the vegetation grows with a rankness which is worthy of special notice. 
As the waters holding lime in solution flow slowly over this vegetation, 
the leaves and stems become incrusted, and large masses may be 
gathered up as specimens, showing the stems and leaves perfectly. 
These specimens have been transported in large quantities to different 
points along the Pacific Railroad for the purpose of sale to travelers 
and curiosity-seekers, until these beautiful decorations are destroyed. 
When I visited these springs last autumn I found them a mass of ruins, 
and the specimens that I obtained for the museum of the Smithsonian 
Institution were those that had been rejected by these traders. From 
the base of the Limestone Hills, which are 500 to 800 feet high, springs 
gush out, forming at once a swift-flowing stream, G feet wide and a foot 



deep, as clear as crystal. The valley of Soda Creek extends off to the 
northwest and unites with that of Blackfoot Fork. As far as the eye 
can reach only a fragment of a ridge of limestone, or an old volcanic 
crater, can be seen, but on either side the high limestone hills rise up 
like lofty walls. The basalt is shown along the base of these hills in 
liigh, vertical walls, 50 to SOfeet, breakinginto irregular columnar masses. 
Sometimes the springs sink beneath this crust of basalt, and thus dis- 
appear for a long distance. Huge fissures and sink-holes are not un- 
common. These limestones, from the inclination as shown in the sur- 
rounding hills, must dip beneath all the Lake deposits and basaltic floors 
of the valleys, and consequently the water of the springs may pass up 
through 2,000 to 4,000 feet of limestone. A narrow-gauge railroad has 
been i)rojected, and partially constructed, by the Mormon authorities, 
from the Pacific Kailroad, near Ogden, via Cache Valley, to Soda Springs. 
This road will pass through the most thickly settled and most prosperous 
portion of Utah outside of Salt Lake Valley. It also opens up the fine 
valley of Upper Bear Eiver with its 2,500 industrious farmers. 1 call 
the attention of the public to this locality, Soda Springs, as a future 
place of resort for pleasure-seekers and invalids. The numerous springs 
with their curious deposits, the beautiful valley with its river, surrounded 
with most picturesque scenery, must very soon attract great attention 
from tourists. About sixty miles to the northeast, on Salt Creek, a branch 
of ^hn Gray's Eiver, are some of the finest salt-works west of the Mis- 
sissippi, which must sooner or later attract far more attention than they 
have yet done. 

The elevation at Soda Springs is 5,529 feet above the level of the 
sea. From this point we pass up the valley of Bear Eiver, constantly, 
but gradually ascending to higher altitudes until we reach the terminus 
of our journey. We shall find the soil fertile, the vegetation exuberant, 
the crops of the farmers usually good. We shall be constantly surprised 
at the numbers of i>rosperous villages that will greet our eyes every few 
miles. When the valley was first settled, a few years ago, the crops 
were all destroyed either by grasshoppers or early and late frosts. The 
l^rospects of the farmers are improving every year, and as the country 
becomes settled, the climate seems to become milder and the confidence 
. and prosperity of the people are greatly increasing. 

I have continually spoken of the Lake deposits in the valleys among 
the mountains, from the fact that they occur everywhere. There is 
also a remarkable uniformity in their iniueral composition and color. 
Still there is here and there a locality where these deposits present some 
variations fj'om the usual type. About three miles above Soda Springs, 
on the margin of Bear Eiver, there is a bed of black slaty clay under- 
neath the su])erficial deposits of drift, which contains a seam of imi^ure 
coal, visible only when the w^ater is low in autumn. The slate above 
the coal is literally crowded with fresh-Avater shells, as Planorbis, &c. 
The beds are all horizontal and form a portion, I suspect, of the Plio- 
cene Lake deposits of these valleys. A little farther up the river, on 
the opposite side, there are hills, cut by the river, showing about 200 
feet of gray indurated sandstones, with beds of pudding-stones, and 
light-gray and whitish marly sand and clay, a very modern dei)ositv, 
but attaining such a thickness and giving form to the high hills bord- 
ering the river as to be regarded as worthy of attention in describing 
the geological features of this valley. I may state in short that for ten 
miles the valley and the foot-hills on either side exhibit an extensive 
deposit, gradually passing up into the Quaternary or Drift, and over the 
Drift is here and there a crust of basalt. There are also old spring de- 


posits in the form of rather compact tufa. On either side of the river 
the high mountain hills are composed of quartzites and Carboniferous 

About fifteen miles above Soda Springs the river cuts through a vast 
thickness of thin shales, varying in thickness from one-twentieth, of an 
inch to an inch, averaging about one-eighth of an inch thick, resembling 
the Green Eiver shales on the Union Pacific Railroad. They are mostly 
horizontal, but occasionally incline 3° to 5^. They reach a thickness of 
500 to 800 feet and appear to pass up into variegated beds of light- 
gray aud pink sands and clays in this valley, resembling those of the 
Wahsatch group west of Fort Bridger. By looking at the map it will 
be observed that the valley of Green River is only about sixty miles to 
the eastward, while southward the variegated beds are found filling up 
the inequalities of the surface of the older rocks as far as the eye can 
reach, on either side of our road to Evanston. The appearance of the 
large mass of shales in the valley of Bear River is not easily accounted 
for, aud they do not appear to conform to the older rocks. No fossils 
could be found in the shales, and all that I can say of them is that they 
appear to be of modern Tertiary age, and that in the scoopiug out of the 
A'alley they seem to have escaped the general erosion. About fifteen 
miles below Soda Springs, are some thick local deposits of the white lime 
stone, very compact and hard enough for building material or lime. This 
fact is mentioned to show that these spring deposits, whether hot or cold, 
extended far back into the x^ast, at least to the Pliocene period, like 
those iu the Yellowstone Valley. I have no doubt, however, that the 
springs of Bear River Valley were originally hot, perhaps some of them 
geysers at a former period. 

The only method which I could take to ascertain the general geology 
of the mountains on either side of the valley w^as to follow up the gorges 
worn out by some of the little mountain streams. East of Bennington 
the quartzites are w^ell exposed, covering the side and summits of 
the mountains and inclining at various angles towards the valley. 
These quartzites, although so very hard and compact, have a brit- 
tle fracture, and the sides and base of the mountains are covered 
with vast quantities of the debris. Following along the base of the 
mountains, the limestones soon rise from beneath the quartzites, and at 
Joe's Gap, near the town of Bennington, there is a gorge in the side 
of the mountain that forms a remarkably clear section of the strata. 
The little stream that carved out the gorge is now entirely dry, and 
must be supplied in the spring by the melting of the snows. The gorge 
itself is about 300 feet wide, with nearly- vertical walls 500 feet high. 
The upper 200 feet of strata are very massive, yellowish-gray, hard, and 
quite pure limestone. The lower 300 feet are composed of layers, var}'- 
iug in thickness from an inch to 2 feet, and very regular. The rock is 
very hard, tough, bluish or steel-gray, calcareous mud, with all the 
peculiar markings of a shallow-water mud-deposit. Fossils are abund- 
ant in the limestones. The entire mass flexes over the sides of the 
mountain, with a curve toward the top, inclining 10^ to 15^, and at the 
base 2(P to 30°. Of course, the strata pass beneath the valley, and rise 
again on the opposite side. Bear River Valley is a synclinal depres- 
sion. To the eastward a series of three synclinal folds may be seen, 
extending nearly to Green River, filled up, in some instances, with the 
variegated beds of the Wahsatch group. Above Bennington the val- 
ley begins to expand and forms a wide, marshy flat, with a soil com- 
posed of rich, black earth, sustaining a thick growth of coarse grass. 
There is no timber along the river except willows, and the high hills 



are tliickly covered with pines. At Paris the rocks used for building 
purposes are obtained from the Wahsatch group, in the lower hills, on 
the west side of the river. From Montpelier, for about ten miles up the 
valley, there is a break in the hills on the east side, and they become 
much lower; but opposite Bloomington a higher range comes in and 
continues far southward. The little streams, which are very abundant, 
especially on the west side of the valley, rise mostly at the foot of the 
hills, and vary from one mile to four miles in length. Some large 
streams, ten to fifteen yards wide and one to two feet deep, flow into 
Bear Lake from a grouj) of springs gushing out of the sides of the hills 
not over a mile distant. The climate may be severe in this valley, but 
the inhabitants are of the belief that it is becoming milder every year. 
I was continually amazed at the evidences of prosperity everywhere. 
Pleasant villages are located every few miles, and in the interval are 
numbers of well-imi)roved farms. The soil of this valley is more fertile 
than that of Salt Lake Yalley, and is better watered. There is no lack 
of springs and streams for irrigation or for milling purposes. The tim- 
ber is very scarce, but sufQcient for fuel is obtained from the moun- 
tains, and there is no limit to the supply for building. materials. 

Just before reaching the lake, we leave the river to the east and enter 
the Bear Lake Yalley. This must have been a large lake at one time, 
at least twenty-five miles long and from six to ten broad ; at the present 
time it is ten miles in length and from five to eight broad. At the 
boundary line, between Idaho and Utah, passing directly across the 
lake from east to west, I was informed that Mr. Majors, the astronomer 
in charge, under the General Land-Oftlce, made the width of the lake, 
by tri angulation, seven and one-third miles. From the mouth of Swan 
Creek the width was at one time measured with a chain on the ice and 
found to be seven and three-fourths miles. Soundings were also made 
from the mouth of Swan Creek to the opposite side, and the greatest 
depth was determined to be 175 feet. One mile west from Indian Creek, 
on the east side, the depth was 137 feet; so that we may estimate the 
average depth at 40 to GO feet. It is a beautiful lake, set like an eme- 
rald among the mountains. Not even the waters of the Yellowstone 
Lake present such vivid coloring. ISTo sea-green hue could be more 
delicate ; and as the waves rolled high by the force of the winds, the 
most vivid green seemed to shade to a beautiful, delicate blue. Bear 
Eiver seems to have been bent slightly out of its course by a range of 
mountains which extends northward between the lake and the river, 
but it suddenly flexes back again, even south of west, and then flows 
to the northwest. I was unable to make an examination of this portion 
of the river, and therefore cannot present the geology in detail, but 
hope to continue these explorations at some future time. 

By examining the map it will be seen that there is but a single range 
of mountains between Cache Yalley and Bear Eiver, and that the 
geological structure does not differ materially from that of the Wahsatch 
Kange and its subordinate ranges. We have a vast thickness of very 
hard quartzites at the base, and above them a grouj) of limestones, 
which, so far as Bear Eiver Yalley is concerned, has yielded only fossils 
of Carboniferous species. Above the limestones are quartzites again, 
with intercalated layers of clay and sandstones. The lower quartzites 
appear to have been partially metamorphosed, and contain some quite 
rich silver ores. These ores do not appear to be found in regular lodes 
but in pockets or irregular cavities. At the tioie my party passed up 
the valley there was a good deal of interest in these mines among the 
people, and some very excellent specimens of the ores were shown to us. 



West of Bloomington, Paris, Saint Charles, and tbe lake, a number of 
mines have been located. I had the opportunity of examining but one 
of the mines, and that was near the mouth of Swan Creek. It was 
ocated in the quartzites, as I have described above. From all the evi- 
dence that I could obtain, I formed the opinion that these mines would 
never become very i)rofitable, though quite interesting in a scientific 
point of view. They deserve a much more careful examination than I 
was able to give them. 

As I have before stated, the valley of Bear Lake is most beautiful, 
fertile, and already well settled by ftirmers. There are all the indica- 
tions of prosperity, yet I understand that the winters are very severe, 
and that, owing to the late and early fro<6ts, crops are uncertain. Still 
the climate is reported to be growing milder every year. We may look 
for a moment at the elevation of the valley above the sea. At Soda 
Springs, the most northern i)oint of Bear Eiver Yalley, the elevation is 
5,529 feet; at Bear Eiver Bridge, thirty-three miles up the valley, 5,744 
feet; at Swan Creek, on the west side of the lake, twenty-five miles 
farther up the valley, 5,922 feet. At the extreme south end of the lake 
the elevation was found to be 5,931 feet. We see, therefore, while this 
most attractive portion of the vallej'^ is not above G,000 feet, the suc- 
cessful raising of crops is even yet somewhat problematical, though 
the parallel of latitude is only 42<^. 

Near Swan Creek there is a fine exhibition of a local anticlinal. The 
beds of quartzites incline like a steep roof from the w^est side of the 
mountain, forming a wall very near the road. The inclination of the 
quartzites was 60°, vrhile all along the sides of the mountains the basalt 
ridges of the strata are shown inclining in an opposite direction 10° to 
15^. The east portion of this anticlinal is undoubtedly due to the wash- 
ing out of the underlying materials by the waters of the lake and the 
breaking down of the beds of quartzite in consequence. The hills or 
mountains on the west side rise 1,000 to 1,200 feet above the lake. Bear 
Lake Valley is oval in shape and at the present time has the appearance 
of an anticlinal. The high ranges of hills on the west side only present 
the basalt edges of the strata toward the lake, but it is probable that 
the western portion has been swept away by erosion. It is possible that 
the system of synclinal folds or depressions extended along the valley, 
but have been worn away. At the upper end are fragments of anticlinal 
ridges, which appear to have extended across the area now occupied by 
the waters of the lake. On the east side the streams have cut deep 
gorges into the hills, revealing the quartzites as well as the limestones, 
but the variegated clays, marls, and sandstones of the Wahsatch group 
repose uncouformably upon them, filling up the irregularities of the sur- 
face and concealing the older rocks for the most part. The quartzites 
prevail on the west side, extending as far southward as the eye can 
reach, while in the valley at the extreme south end very compact 
quartzites, which appear to be partially changed, crop out from beneath 
the Carboniferous limestones. 

After crossing Spring Creek, near Laketown, we enter a deep canon 
with massive strata of limestone, inclining about northeast 50^ to 70^, 
We have at the bottom, first, very irregular bedded, massive, cherty 
limestone, with no fossils; secondly, a yellow, calcareous sandstone of 
varied texture; thirdly, limestone in thin strata, very much warped or 
bent. The upper limestones are mucli like those in' Joe's Gap east of 
Bennington, and are, no doubt, a continuation southward of the same 
ridge. This ridge, or range of mountain hills, as it might be termed, 
is deeply gashed by streams that flow into the lake or river, revealing 
sections of the strata more or less clear. We may, therefore, state in 



general terms that tlie metamorphic qnartzites crop out occasionally, 
though seldom, but high ridges of Carboniferous limestones, with tiie 
strata inclining at all angles, are frequently uncovered over large aj-eas. 
From Soda Springs to the south end of the lake, and even much farther 
southward, the high ranges of hills on the east side are composed 
of a nucleus of limestones uncovered here and there. Sometimes a 
vast thickness of the variegated quartzites conform to and conceal the 
limestones, while in the intervals between these great anticlijial ridges, 
and sometimes covering them, is a vast thickness of the more modern 
deposits of the Wahsatch group. Ascending the divide eastward from 
Bear Lake Yalley, I estimated the thickness of the older strata to be 
6,000 feet, 4,000 of which are Carboniferous limestones and the remainder 
quartzites and sandstones. From the summit to Bear Kiver Yalley the 
variegated beds of the Wahsatch group conceal all the older rocks. 

From the divide we descended the valley of Sage Creek to Bear 
River Yalley. The Tertiary strata are nearly horizontal on either side. 
These rather modern beds partook of some of the later movements, and 
incline at angles from 1^ to lO^. The valley where we entered it is about 
three miles in width, and soon expands to five miles. About five miles 
below the village of Randolph, on the east side of Bear River, there is 
one of the ruggedest walls of Carboniferous limestone I have seen on the 
trip. The rocks seem to rise up from the river-bottom almost verti- 
cally; the summits are weathered into jagged points, and the sides 
of the wall, from summit to base, are gashed with dry canons or gulches, 
which form splendid cross-sections of the strata.. The trend of the ridge 
is about northeast and southwest ; the dip northwest GO^ to 70°. The 
limestone is usually pure, light-gray color, not as compact as usual, 
full of fossils, mostly in a fragmentary condition. Still these fossils 
show most clearly that the limestones are of Carboniferous age. This 
range of mountains, as it might properly be called, forms a very singu- 
lar exhibition of the dynamic forces that have produced the remark- 
able folds in the older sedimentary rocks. It may be called an oblong 
quaquaversal, or an isolated puff or bulge in the crust. The entire 
range is not over eight miles in length and not over two or three miles 
wide. The limestones bend down from the summits like the steep, 
flexible, convex roof of a house. About three miles above Randolph, 
at the bend of the river, the limestone ridge breaks off suddenly. On 
the south end the strata seem to be inclined at a greater angle, in some 
instances passing a vertical. A fragment has been cut of£ at the south 
end, where a stream has at some period very remote in the past made its 
way through. This section shows the strata clearly, and as well the way 
they flex down around the end of the range. The bend of Bear River is not 
long, but quite abrupt. Far to the south the country is open, flat, and 
appears like a river vallej', surrounded by low hills. The character of 
this limestone range would indicate depression of the surrounding 
country as one of the causes of the convex form of the sides. At any 
rate, within the space of about ten miles from east to west, there are 
two of these remarkable limestone ridges, where 3,000 to 4,000 feet of 
strata seem to be corrugated into quite remarkable folds, with synclinal 
intervals that have been filled up with the modern Tertiary beds. 

I will not delay at this time to discuss the causes that may have led to 
this wrinkling of the crust, but simply state my observations and wait 
patiently for a greater array of facts. From the bend of Bear River to 
Evanston the strata are not much disturbed, usually not inclining more 
than from 3^ to 10°. In the canon southeast of the bend I was in- 
formed that coal had been found. From the end of the limestone ridge 
to the railroad, in every direction, the rocks exposed are not older than 



the Coal group, probably Lower Tertiary or Upper Cretaceous. At E vans- 
tou we have the great coal-mines, which have been described to some 
extent in my previous reports, and are still farther described by Dr. 
Peale in a subsequent portion of this report. The numerous species 
of plants which were found above and below the coal-beds are described 
in the report of Professor Lequereux on the fossil plants collected by 
the expedition. I had intended to add some additional chapters, and a 
final one, which should conqDrise a resume of the geology of the country 
examined during the past season, but the time would not permit. It is 
my purpose to press on with all the vigor possible to collect the facts 
which shall establish the age of the difterent formations of this portion 
of the West ; more especially to ascertain the relation the coal-beds 
sustain to the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. 


The following letter of Dr. Drown convej^s so much valuable informa- 
tion in regard to the chemical character of the remarkable Soda Springs 
at the base of Pike's Peak, Colorado, that I am glad to append it to this 
chapter, for the purpose of comparison with the waters at Soda Springs, 
on Bear River. The letter is published by permission of Dr. R. H. Lam- 
born. The information is of greater interest to me, from the fact that 
the springs were examined with some care by my party in 1869, and 
a short account of them was given in my report of the United States 
Geological Survey of Colorado and New Mexico : 

Laboratory, 209 South Sixth Street, 

Philadeljyhia, November 11, 1871. 

Dear Sir : I take pleasure in transmitting to you the results of my 
examination of the salts placed in my hands through the kindness of 
yourself and Professor Persifor Frazer, jr. These salts were the residue 
of evaporation of the water of the spring called the " Doctor,'' one of the 
well-known group of mineral springs at the foot of Pike's Peak, Colorado, 
now reached by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway,- which springs, I 
understand, now belong to the Fountain Colony, and are about to be im- 
proved with a view to the utilization of their sanitary qualities. The sub- 
stance submitted for analysis was obtained by Professor Frazer, jr., from 
the spring in question when engaged on the mineralogical survey of Colo- 
rado in 1869, and was the result of the evaporation of a considerable 
quantity of water. The means at hand for evaporation were so crude 
that some substances, not properly belonging to the w^ater as it comes 
from the earth, have become mixed with the material used in my deter- 
minations ; but their nature is such that I think they may be readily 
eliminated, leaving the ultimate result quite accurate. 

The result of the analysis was as follows : 

Per cent. 

Organic matter 9. 33 

Sesquioxide of iron 4. 49 

Alumina 0. 87 

Silica and quartz 6. 10 

Lime 5.64 

Magnesia 2.57 

Potassium 4. 86 

Sodium 21.60 

Oxygen by calculation 2. 87 


Per cent. 

Carbonic acul 11.80 

Sulpliuric acid 2. 49 

Chlorine 25. 02 

07. G4 

The 2.36 per cent, unaccounted for I consider to be principally due 
to a too low determination of the organic matter, the estimation of 
which was attended with difficulties, and the small amount of material 
at my disposal i)recluding a redetermination. 

The organic matter found in such large quantity was evidently 
mainly communicated to the water during evaporation, and could 
scarcely have been contained in the Avater itself. Professor Persifor 
Prazerjjr., says the spring is not perceptibly ferruginous, so that the 
iron found was doubtless from the kettle in which the water was evap- 
orated. The quartz was i3resent in pieces of appreciable size, and must 
have been mechanically suspended in the effervescing water. The 
small amount of alumina found may have been in solution in the water, 
but more probably accomi^anied the quartz. Eliminating these sub- 
stances from the analysis, we may exi)ress the composition of the solid 
ingredients of the water as follows : 

Per cent. 

Chloride of sodium 33. 90 . 

Chloride of potassium 9. 27 

Carbonate of soda 10. 94 

Sulphate of soda 4. 42 

Silicate of soda 5. 49 

Carbonate of lime 10. 07 

Carbonate of magnesia 5. 40 

Calculating these amounts on the scale of 100 parts, and presuming 
that the soda, in combination with the silicic acid, was originally in 
combination with carbonic acid, and calculating, moreover, the carbon- 
ated salts as bicarbonates, we have : 

Per cent. 

Chloride of sodium 36. G9 

Chloride of potassium 10. 01 

Bicarbonate of soda 24.01 

Sulphate of soda 4. 78 

Bicarbonate of lime 15. 62 

Bicarbonate of magnesia 8. 89 

100. 00 

The water of the spring is thus shown to belong to the class of 
mineral waters characterized by a preponderance of alkaline chlorides 
and carbonates. This class of waters has its principal German types in 
the springs at Ems and Selters in Nassau, analyses of which are 
appended for comparison. 

Spring, Ems ^P^^"? 

Doctor Spriug. 

Chloride of sodium 

Chloride of XJOtas.sium 

Bicarbonate of soda 

Sulphate of soda 

]licarbonate of lime 

IJicarbonatc of nia.i; nesia . 
■bicarbonate of iron 

Per cent. 
27. 25 

57. 03 
0. 56 
G. 65 
5. 83 
0. 07 

51. G8?5o 53 

0. 85 5 
29. 29 

0. 76 

8. 00 

7. 05 


Per cent. 

30. 69 i 
10. 01 ' 

4. 78 
15. 02 

8. 89 

4C. 70 


The Kriiluiclien Spring is the one chiefly used for drinking at Ems. 
This watering-place is stated in Dr. McPhersoii's recent work to be the 
most popular woman^sbath in Europe : he adds that this watering-place 
is well suited for cases of bronchial arid laryngeal catarrh. 

From the close correspondence between the Doctor Spring and the 
Selters Spring, in chemical composition, we can infer that the physiolog- 
ical effects of these waters will be very similar. Of the far-famed Sel- 
ters Si)ring, which supplies the world annually with a million and a hall' 
bottles of Selters water, Dr. Edwin Lee writes: ' Its action is, in general, 
cooling, exhilarating, and alterative, improving vitiated secretions of the 
mucous membranes, giving tone to their glands, and promoting absorp- 
tion. It may generally be taken without risk by robust and plethoric 
individuals, and is of great service in cases of torpor of the vascular 
and glandular systems, stomach derangement, with acidity and consti- 
l^ation, tendency to gout in full habits, and scrofulous complaints. The 
Selters water would also be serviceable in cases of irritation of the uri- 
nary organs, or tendency to the formation of stone or gravel in chronic 
inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bladder. 


Egbert H. Lamborn, Esq., Vice-Fresidcnt 

Denver and Rio Grande Railway. 

While my party was engaged at Soda Springs, I obtained some valua- 
ble information from Mr. Stump, one of the proprietors of the Oneida 
Salt Works, Idaho, which indicates the existence of some of the most 
valuable salt-springs on our continent. I was not able to visit them, 
and these few notes are given here for the purpose of directing the 
attention of the public to them. They are located in a small side- valley, 
which opens into Salt Creek, a branch of John Gray's Eiver, about 
sixty miles northeast of Soda Springs. They are surrounded with high 
mountains. The little creek in which the springs are located flows 
southeast, while the main Salt Creek runs northwest. The water is as 
cold as ordinary spring-water, and is as clear as crystal, showing how" 
completely the saline matter is held in solution. The market is in 
Idaho and Montana — mostly in Montana. The company make 6,000 
pounds of salt per day, but the supi)ly of water would warrant 25^000 
l)Ounds per day. There is another small spring, a little distance from the 
main springs, that yields water enough for 2,000 pounds of salt per day 
for a portion of the year. It sells at $30 per ton at the works, and the 
demand is increasing every year. The company began to supply the 
market in 186G at five cents per pound. It now sells at two cents per 
l)ound. The amount annually made by the company for six years past 
is as follows : 


1866 100,000 

1867 300, 000 

1868 500,000 


1869 650,000 

1870 750,000 

1871 850,000 

Analysis of sample of salt froin White & iStiimj) Oneida Salt TFor/is, 
Oneida County^ Idaho, by A. Snoivden Jt'iggotj M. D. 

Chloride of sodium 97. 79 

Sulphate of soda 1. 51: 

Chloride of calcium 0. 67 

Sulphate of magnesia Trace. 

11 GS 

100. 00 




[With a map.] 

While the preceding chapters of this report were passing through the 
press, the bill that was introduced into both Houses of Congress in De- 
cember has become a law. It will perhaps be proper, therefore, to 
devote a small space to a notice of this event, omitting the details until 
the more complete history can be prepared. 

In order that the geographical locality of the reservation, containing 
within its boundaries the wonderful falls, hot-springs, geysers, &c., de- 
scribed in the previous chapters of this report, may be more clearlj- 
understood, I have prepared a map expressly to show the park with its 
surroundings, on a scale of ten miles to one inch. The report of the 
Committee on Public Lands, as well as the law itself, which is included 
in this chapter, will serve to explain the map in general terms. A 
glance at the map will show to the reader the geographical locality of 
the most beautiful lake in the world, set like a gem among the mount- 
ains. He will also see that the mountains that wall it in on every side 
form one of the most remarkable water-sheds on the continent. The 
snows that fall on the summits give origin to three of the largest rivers 
in North America. On the north side are the sources of the Yellowstone ; 
on the west, those of the Three Forks of the Missouri ; on the southwest 
and south, those of the Snake River, flowing into the Columbia and 
thence into the Pacific Ocean ; and those of Green River, rushing south- 
ward to join the great Colorado, and finally emptying into the Gulf of 
California, while on the east are the numerous sources of Wind River. 
Prom any point of view which we may select to survey this remarkable 
region, it surpasses, in many respects, any other i^ortion of our conti- 

On the 18th of December, 1871, a bill was introduced into the Senate 
of the United States by Hon. S. C. Pomeroy, to set apart a certain 
tract of land lying near the head-w.'iters of the Yellowstone River 
as a public park. About the same time a similar bill was offered in 
the House of Representatives by Hon. William H. Claggett, Delegate 
from Montana. After due consideration in the Committees on Public 
Lands in both Houses, the bill was reported favorably. In the Senate 
it was ably advocated by Messrs. Pomeroy, Edmunds, Trumbull, 
Anthony, and others. In the House the remarks of Hon. H. L. Dawes 
were so clear and forcible that the bill passed at once without oi)posi- 

I have thus presented a brief history of the passage of this bill be- 
cause I believe it will mark an era in the popular advancement of scien- 
tific thought, not only in this country, but throughout the civilized 

That our legislators, at a time when public opinion is so strong against 
appropriating the public domain for any purpose however laudable, 
should reserve, for the benefit and instruction of the people, a tract of 
3,578 square miles, is an act that should cause universal joy throughout 
the land. This noble deed may be regarded as a tribute from our legis- 
lators to science, and the gratitude of the nation and of men of science 
in all parts of the world is due them for this munificent donation. 

Deparlmeat of the Interior 
U.S.Geolog-icul Survey of ihe Territories 


tVom Surveys made \mcLer the direction of 
And ot her authorities 

ElcvaUoriA' are irv P€eb ainrv^ 
fiounda^y or Fn.Hc 




Mr. Bunnell, from the Committee on the Public Lands, made the 
following report: 

Tlie Committee on the Piihlic Lands^ having had under consideration hill 
H. R. 764, would report as foUoivs: 

The bill now before Congress has for its object the withdrawal from 
settlement, occupancy, or sale, under the laws of the United States, a 
tract of land tifty-five by sixty-five miles, about the sources of the Yel- 
lowstone and Missouri Rivers, and dedicates and sets it apart as a great 
national park or pleasure-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the 
people. The entire area comprised within the limits of the reservation 
contemi)lated in this bill is not susceptible of cultivation with any de- 
gree of certainty, and the winters would be too severe for stock-raising. 
Whenever the altitude of the mountain districts exceeds 6,000 feet 
above tide-water, their settlement becomes problematical unless there 
are valuable mines to attract people. The entire area within the limits 
of the proposed reservation is over 6,000 feet in altitude, and the Yel- 
lowstone Lake, which occupies an area fifteen by twenty-two miles, or 
three hundred and thirty square miles, is 7,427 feet. The ranges of 
mountains that hem the valleys in on every side rise to the height of 
10,000 and 12,000 feet, and are covered with snow all the year. These 
mountains are all of volcanic origin, and it is not probable that any 
mines or minerals of value will ever be found there. During the months 
of June, July, and August the climate is pure and most invigorating, 
with scarcely any rain or storms of any kind, but the thermometer 
frequently sinks as low as 26^. There is frost every month of the year. 
This whole region was, in comparatively modern geological times, the 
scene of the most wonderful volcanic activity of any portion of our 
country. The hot springs and the geysers represent the last stages — 
the vents or escape-pipes — of these remarkable volcanic manifestations 
of the internal forces. All these springs are adorned with decorations 
more beautiful than human art ever conceived, and which have required 
thousands of years for the cunning hand of nature to form. Persons 
are now waiting for the spring. to open to enter in and take possession 
of these remarkable curiosities, to make merchandise of these beautiiul 
specimens, to fence in these rare wonders, so as to charge visitors a fee, 
as is now done at Niagara Falls, for the sight of that which ought to be 
as free as the air or water. 

In a few years this region will be a place of resort for all classes of 
people liom all portions of the world. The geysers of Iceland, which 
have been objects of interest for the scientific men and travelers of the 
entire world, sink into insignificance in comparison with the hot springs 
of the Yellowstone and Fire-Hole Basins. As a place of resort for in- 
valids, it will not be excelled by any portion of the world. If this bill 
fails to become a law^ this session, the vandals who are now waiting to 
enter into this wonder-land will, in a single season, despoil, beyond re- 
covery, these remarkable curiosities, which have required all the cunning 
skill of nature thousands of years to prepare. 

We have already shown that no portion of this tract can ever be made 
available for agricultural or mining x^urposes. Even if the altitude and 
the climate would permit the country to be made avaikibie, not over 
fifty square miles of the entire area could ever be settled. The valleys 
are all narrow, hemmed in by high volcanic mountains like giganUc 



The withdrawal t)f this tract, therefore, from sale or settlement takes 
nothing from the value of the public domain, and is no pecuniary loss 
to the Government, but will be regarded by the entire civilized world 
as a step of progress and an honor to Congress and the nation. 

Department of the Interior, 

Washington, D. C, January 29, 1872. 
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communi- 
.cation of the 27th instant, relative to the bill now pending in the House 
of Eepresentatives dedicating that tract of country known as the Yel- 
lowstone Yalley as a national park. 

1 hand you herewith the report of Dr. F. Y. Hayden, United States 
geologist, relative to said proposed reservation, and have only to add 
that I fully concur in his recommendations, and trust that the bill 
referred to may speedily become a law. 

Yery respectfully, your obedient servant, 



Hon. M. H. DuNNELL, 

House of Representatives. 

The committee, therefore, recommend the passage of the bill without 

[General nature — ^No. 16.] 

AN ACT to set apart a certain tract of land lying near the head-waters of the Yellow- 
stone River as a public park. 

Be it enacted hy the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled, That the tract of land in the 
Territories of Montana and Wyoming, lying near the head-waters of the 
Yellowstone River, and described as follows, to wit, commencing at the 
junction of Gardiner's River with the Yellowstone River, and running 
east to the meridian i)assiDg ten miles to the eastward of the most east- 
ern point of Yellowstone Lake ; thence south along said meridian to the 
I)arallel of latitude i^assing ten miles south of the most southern point 
of Yellowstone Lake; thence west along said parallel to the meridian 
passing fifteen miles west of the most western point of Madison Lake; 
thence north along said meridian to the latitude of the junction of the 
Yellowstone and Gardiner's Rivers; thence east to the place of beginning, 
is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale 
under the laws of the United States, and dedicated and set aj^art as a 
public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the 
l^eople ; and all persons who shall locate or settle upon or occupy the 
same, or any part thereof, except as hereinafter provided, shall be con- 
sidered trespassers and removed therefrom. 

Sec. 2. That said public park shall be under the exclusive control of 
the Secretary of the Interior, whose duty it shall be, as soon as practi- 
cable, to make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem 
necessary or proper for the care and management of the same. Such 
regulations shall provide for the preservation, from injury oi- spoliation, 
of ail timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within 



said park, and tbeir retention in their natural condition. The Secretary 
may, in his discretion, grant leases for building purposes for terms not 
exceeding ten years, of small parcels of ground, at such places in said 
park as shall require the erection of buildings for the accommodation of 
visitors ; all of the proceeds of said leases, and all other revenues that 
may be derived from any source connected with said park, to be ex- 
pended under his direction in the management of the same, and the 
construction of roads and bridle-paths therein. He shall provide against 
the wanton destruction of the fish and game found within said park, 
and against their capture or destruction for the purposes of merchandise 
or profit. He shall also cause all persons trespassing upon the same 
after the passage of this act to be removed therefrom, and generally 
shall be authorized to take all such measures as shall be necessary or 
proper to fully carry out the objects and purposes of this act. 
Approved March 1, 1872. 




• Washington, D. C. 

Dear Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith my preliminary 
report on the minerals, rocks, and thermal springs met with during 
the explorations of this summer. 

I commence at Ogden, Utah Territory, our starting-point, and describe 
the minerals, rocks, and springs encountered by the expedition through- 
out the whole trip. To study the mineral resources of a country to the 
best advantage requires that we should have an abundance of time to 
devote to each locality, working on our knees, as it were, with drill and 
hammer. As the greater part of our time was spent on the march, such 
a course was impracticable ; 1 therefore confined myself to the collec- 
tion and general investigation of specimens. 

Six hundred and twenty-seven specimens of rocks, with over one 
thousand specimens of minerals, including those from the hot springs, 
have been deposited in the Smithsonian Institution. Catalogues of the 
minerals and rocks are appended to this report. 

I insert qualitative analyses of the waters of the principal geysers 
and hot springs. In so doing, I feel a hesitancy, for the field is so vast 
that to develop it thoroughly would require the work of years, and the 
number I present is but as a drop of water in the ocean. 

I had hoped to embody in this report a larger number of quantitative 
analyses, but the time has been limited, and there have been interrup- 
tions that have rendered it impossible. 

I append a catalogue of the hot springs of which the temperatures 
were recorded, giving their position, elevation, character, principal con- 
stituents, highest, lowest, and average teraijeratures, together with the 
tem[)erature of the air at the time of observation. 

In regard to mining operations, I have not attempted to make any 
report. We passed through but a small portion of the mining districts, 
so that any such report would be incomx^lete. 

In conclusion, I wish to express my thanks to the members of the ex- 
pedition for their assistance and co-operation, and also to Judge Lovell, 
of Virginia City, Montana Territory, and C. T. Deuel, esq., of Evanston, 



Utah, for information afforded me. I would also refer to the uniform 
kindness and courtesy extended to us at the various military i^osts. 

Hoping this report may meet all requirements, I am, very respectfully, 
your obedient servant, 

A. 0. PEALE. 

Dr. F. Y. Hayden, 

United States Geologist, 

Ogden City, in Utah Territory, is situated at the western base of the 
Wahsatch Mountains, in the Salt Lake Basin. It is between the Ogden 
and Weber Elvers, and is the point where the Union Pacific, tlie Cen- 
tral Pacific, and the Utah Central Railroads effect a junction. The town 
contains about six thousand inhabitants, and is built partly on the ter- 
race that skirts the base of the mountains, and partly on the level bot- 
tom through which the rivers flow. Its streets are all wide and lined 
with beautiful trees, while on each side flows a clear stream of fresh 

The Wahsatch Eange extends north and south, its gray peaks being 
snow -crowned the greater part of the year. Our first camp after leav- 
ing Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, was on one of the terraces, about a 
mile from the foot of the mountains, which are cut into sections by 
numerous canons. They intersect the range at right angles to the trend. 
One of them, Ogden Canon, I visited as typical of the others. The 
rocks at the mouth of the caiion I found to he syenites of a red color, 
and having a specific gravity of 2.G. The fehlspar in it was a flesh-col- 
ored orthoclase alone. The only veins noticeable were some illy defined 
of quartz and feldspar. These syenites must in places pass into granites, 
for a specimen brought me I found to be a protogine containing a green 
talc, which, with the flesh-colored feldspar and white quartz, formed a 
beautiful specimen. The rock, however, could not be located. In this 
syenite, at the distance of probably half a mile to the south of Ogden 
Canon, some prospecters have claimed to have discovered tin ore. In 
the specimens brought me I failed to discover even a trace of tin. Upon 
the syenites very thick beds of quartzites lie. They are mostly of a 
white color. In some places, however, th-ey are dark-brown, and higlily 
ferruginous. The specific gravit^^ of these quartzites varies from 2.5 to 
2.G. They extend for some distance and dip at an angle of about 80^. 
I found, also, a metamorphic conglomerate, composed of beautiful red 
and pink siliceous pebbles imbedded in a light-gray siliceous matrix. 
The quartzites are succeeded by quartz schists, which in turn pass into 
a dark cherty or siliceous limestone. This limestone produces an excel- 
lent quality of lime, whic^h has been used by the Union Pacific Eailroad 
Company in building their engine-houses. There are in the caiion three 
lime-kilns in active operation. 

Farther up the canon than I was able to go, I was told there was a 
ledge of silver ore that promises to pay well. A piece of ore that was 
handed me, and alleged to be from the same, yielded, on examination, 
both silver and copper. I was also given a piece of coal said to be 
from some distance up the caiion. 

We left Ogden on the morning of June 10, and took up our line of 
march, traveling in a northwesterly direction along the base of the 
mountains, around Bear Eiver Bay, and in the afternoon ^.amped in a 
beautiful, small, green valley, having gone ten miles. N^ar our camp 
were situated some hot springs, very noticeable from the abundant, 



deep crimson-colored deposit about thera. There are a number of springs 
at the base of a spur of the mountain range which is to the east of them. 
The average temperature of the water was 129^ F., the temperature of 
the air at the time of observation being 83^ F. The highest tempera- 
ture was found in one of the smaller southern springs, and was 13Go F.; 
while at the distance of 100 feet to the west of it the lowest tempera- 
ture, 109^ F., was found. The principal spring was almost circular in 
shape, and from 12 to 15 feet in diameter and 5 feet in depth. Its tem- 
perature was 128° F. some distance from its edge, although probably 
higher in the center, beyond the reach of the thermometer. The taste 
of the water was decidedly bitter and salty. In all of the springs there 
was at intervals a slight bubbling of carbonic acid gas. At no time 
during observation, however, was it considerable. No other volatile 
substances were discovered. The specific gravity of the water was 
1019, and an analysis revealed the following constitutents : 

The amount of iron was small, from its having been thrown down by 
the escape of the carbonic acid gas at the time of examination. A con- 
siderable area around the springs is covered with a deposit of iron, the 
bright-red color of which contrasts well with the green of the surround- 
ing vegetation. In isolated spots, as well as on some of the rocks near 
the water, there is a white deposit. Between the springs and the lake 
or bay there extend salt marshes or flats for the distance of three or four 

Leaving our camp on the 12th, we resumed our way in an almost 
northerly direction, until we neared Brigham City, when we turned to 
the right and entered Box Elder CaEion, another of those gorges cut 
through the mountains at right angles to its trend. Our way was now 
upward for eight miles through the canon — grass-covered hills with here 
and there projecting rocks rising high on either side of us, while at our 
feet rushed a swift stream, its banks fringed with elder-bushes. The 
rocks here are identical with those in Ogden Canon. In the evening 
we camped in Box Elder Park, about 500 feet above the level of the 
Salt Lake, near the J3anish settlement of Copenhagen. The park is 
almost circular in shape, and is about two miles in diameter, encircled 
by rounded hills comi)osed of dark siliceous limestone. Between this 
point and Cache Valley, a distance of almost thirteen miles, our road led 
us now up hill and now down, past masses of dark-blue Carboniferous 
or mountain limestones, containing white calcite with perfect cleavage. 
They are fossiliferous. Just before reaching Wellesville, our camping- 
place, there was a change to calcareous sandstones of a light-gray color. 
The scene as we emerged from the mountains was grand. Before us 
lay Cache Valley, dotted with numerous Mormon towns. It is one of 
the best cultivated districts in Utah, and, clothed in its spring garb, 
presented a beautiful appearance. It is about fifty-four miles in length 
and will average about seven miles in width. The rocks in the moun- 
tains on either side are limestones and quartzites. Near Mendon there 
occurs an oolitic limestone, which is much used for building purposes 
throughout the valley. Our course on the 11th and 15th lay through 
Cache Valley. At the upper end is the town of Franklin. To the west 
of the town there is a large, isolated huttc, the basis of which is a blue 
limestone containing a percentage of silica. This stands in the middle 


of the valley like some monument, tlie surrounding rock baviog been 
washed away. On June 16 we crossed Bear River and found immedi- 
ately a change in the rocks. Instead of limestone we came across green- 
stone, among which I obtained specimens of aphanite and melaphyre, 
the latter amygdaloidal in places. The specific gravity of some of these 
specimens is as follows : three specimens of dark-green aphanite, 2.5; 
and two specimens of melaphyre, 3.1. Continuing for about five miles, 
they are intercepted by quartzites containing a small percentage of 

About three miles above the town of Oxford I found some men mining 
for silver. W. J. Cooper, of Oxford, is the owner of the lode, which is 7 
feet wide, and dips west at an angle of about 40^. The strike is north 
and south. The wall-rock on either side is greenstone. The gangue 
of the lode is composed of quartz, with calcite and feldspar. Some good 
crystals of calcite were seen, and also brown spar, (rhomb spar.) The 
ore is principally chloride, reddish and greenish. A shaft has been 
commenced, but has reached only the depth of 30 feet. 

Six miles above Oxford we entered Marsh Creek, or Round Valley, 
passing from Utah into Idaho Territory. TLie entrance to this valley is 
between two high huttes^ one consisting of a ferruginous sandstone of 
a bright-red color on its weathered surfaces, the other composed of a 
bluish siliceous limestone. Passing through this natural gateway, we 
were in an old lake basin, the rocks being modern Pliocene sandstones 
of a white color, all containing some lime. The road soon ascended to 
the top of a terrace of drift formation, covered with a sparse growth of 
sage-brush. Leaving this valley the following day, June 18th, we en- 
tered the valley of the Port Ncuf River. Just before entering the valley 
we passed over a floor-like layer of dark basaltic rock. We followed 
the river on its right bank. All along the left bank there is a layer of 
basaltic rock, its hexagonal columnar form reminding one of the Giant's 
Causeway. The formation over which our road led us was drift, while 
the hills on our right presented alternations of limestones and quartzites 
succeeding each other at short intervals. There seems to have been 
some point higher up the valley from which the molten mass flowed 
during the Tertiary period, for the formation on which it rests is Tertiary. 

In crevices in the rock in many i)laces I obtained specimens of obsi- 
dian. As we neared the mouth of the valley it became wider and wider, 
and the mountains receded until they spread out into the Snake River 

Emerging into the valley we turned to the right and crossed tlie bills 
to Fort Hall, a post that has only recently been established, in Idaho 
Territory. We arrived there on the 21st of June. The following da}' 
I made a visit to some warm springs in Lincoln Valley, about three 
miles southeast of the fort. I found five springs situated at the head of 
a depression in the valley, whose direction was east and west. They 
gush forth from the foot of the hills, the bases of which are limestones. 
In spring ]^o. 1, which was the w^armest, the thermometer recorded 
87° F. It was about a foot in diameter, nearly circular, and inches in 
depth. The next two, No. 2 and Iso. 3, to tiie southeast of No. 1, 
had equal temperatures, each being 77° F. Only one of these" was 
defined as a spring, being 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in depth. In tbe 
other the water merely poured forth from tbe rocks in a narrow stream. 
No. 4 and No. 5 were of tbe same character as the last mentioned, and 
reached each tbe temperature of 69^ F. They were still more to the 
east. Tbe Avater in all was beautifully clear, due to tbe presence of car- 
bonate of lime. The specific gravity of tbe water was 1003, and con- 



tained carbonate of lime, and alumina probably as a sulpbate. There 
Tvas no perceptible evolution of gas. In the course of the stream there 
was a deposit of lime, small in quantity, incrusting grass, moss, and 

About a mile east of the fort I found a number of hills, whose bases are 
fine-grained red sandstones of very free quality. It would make a very 
good ornamental building-stone. The rocks that succeed and lie upon 
them are Jurassic limestones, containing an abundance of fossils. We 
left Fort Hall on the 23d of June, and until the 28th were in the Snake 
River Valley, a wide plain covered with sand and sage-brush. For 
ninety miles nothing else was passed over save here and there exposures 
of dark basaltic rock, which seems to be spread out over the entire plain. 
At some time, during or since the Tertiary period, the plain must have 
been flooded with molten lava, which came, in all likelihood, from sev- 
eral points of eruption. As we came down the Port Neuf Elver we 
could see in the distance what appeared to be an old crater, and on our 
way across the Snake Eiver Basin we passed another. 

At Eagle Eock we crossed Snake Eiver on Taylor's bridge. The 
river here has cut a narrow gorge through the rock, forming quite a 
canon. The rock rises 10 feet above the level of the water. The cur- 
rent is very swift. The rock shows the hexagonal columns, so charac- 
teristic of the cooling of the molten mass. At " Hole-in-the-Eock," on 
Dry Creek, we had an opportunity of proving that the lava extends 
over the valley like a crust, for the most part at least simply, and not 
in the form of dikes. Here we visited a cave, which has been formed 
by the water flowing beneath the basalt and washing out the sand. 
The entrance to the cave is formed by a falling in of the crust. Clam- 
bering down over the broken fragments, we discovered seven chambers. 
There were two entrances, one to the northwest and the other to the 
southeast. In the first-named direction we found three chambers, each 
about 25 feet in height and 200 feet in diameter, they being almost cir- 
cular. The chambers are separated from each other by loose, fallen 
rock. After penetrating as far as possible we retraced our steps, and 
were about leaving the place, when we discovered an aperture just 
large enough to admit one at a time, leading toward the southeast. 
Entering this we found four chambers separated from each other by 
piles of loose, fallen rock, as in those on the opposite side. Instead of 
being circular these were oblong in shape, each being about 300 feet in 
length and 150 feet wide, the height being 20 feet. Each succeeding 
chamber is somewhat lower than the preceding. The roof is arched 
and composed of dark basaltic rock. From it there hang innumerable 
small stalactitic formations, caused by the percolation of the water 
through the rock. There are also numbers of air-bubbles in the rock, 
which hang from the roof in drop-like processes, forming points for the 
formation of stalactites. The bottom of the cave is sandy ; and in a 
hole dug to the depth of 20 feet, it was observed to be distinctly strat- 
ified, showing it to have been deposited by water. That this condi- 
tion extends over the whole valley is further presumable, from the fact 
that a considerable number of the streams flowing through it sink and 
are lost to sight. Their disappearance is easily accounted for by their 
flowing underneath this crust. 

On the 28th of June we left the Snake Eiver Basin, and entering 
Beaver Head Canon, began to ascend on our way across the main divide 
of the Eocky Mountains. The igneous rocks were still present. At the 
mouth of the canon we passed an isolated hill, composed of schistose, 
or slaty phonolite, each layer being one-eighth of an inch in thickness 



and porphyritic. Its specific gravity is 2.39. On reaching the top of 
the canon we encamped in Pleasant Valley, a beautiful little valley set 
in the mountains like a gem. Its elevation is 6,086 feet. Near our 
camp was a deep, narrow gorge cut through rock, which, on examina- 
tion, proved to be a true porphyritic phonolite, having disseminated 
through it crystals of sanidine, nepheline, and hauynite. The rock is 
of a dark-gray color, very compact, having a specific gravity of 2.75; 
the crystals occurring in spots, occupying about a quarter of an inch 
each, and from one to two inches apart. The haiiynite occurs as red- 
dish, octagonal crystals. The nepheline is the variety sommite, and is 
in small grains ; while the sanidine, or orthoclase, is in tabular crys- 
tals. I insert here the mineralogical composition of some phonolites 
of Bohemia, given by G. Jenzsch : 

I shall take the earliest opportunity of making a chemical analysis of 
this rock. The occurrence of these phonolites would go far toward 
proving the age ot* the eruption, even though we had not the Tertiary 
formations beneath it, for no true phonolite has been found to be of 
other than Tertiary or still more recent origin. The following day we 
continued on our way across the mountains, passing over the divide, 
the elevation of which was 7,044 feet. The more modern rocks were 
conglomerates, presenting little or no interest. I obtained some speci- 
mens of trachyte, which are vesicular, of a white color, having a reddish 
tinge in some parts. I also obtained specimens of a vesicular rock, 
whi(^h I consider to be a phonolite, although I had not the opportunity 
of observing it in position. One of the specimens was of a dark-gray 
color, having a specific gravity of 2.57. The specific gravity of the light 
varieties was 2.3. After crossing the divide our way lay over Pliocene 
formations, in which I obtained a white sandstone composed of very 
fine pebbles, cemented by a calcareous matrix. The older rocks were 
limestone conglomerates, upon which rested white and red sandstones. 

The 30th of June we spent in camp, visiting a peak near us where we 
found the limestone conglomerates at the base with sandstones on 
top. The next day our route was through a rolling countr^^ now pass- 
ing over a hill and now through the valley of a small stream. I procured 
specimens of a very compact, dark phonolite, having a specific gravity 
of 2.4. The recent rocks were of Pliocene origin. Some of them consist 
of very small, bluish, siliceous pebbles in a white, siliceous matrix. Upon 
these were grayish calcareous sandstones, also Pliocene. They consist 
of minute red and black pebbles cemented by lime. On top of these 
were yellowish calcareous marls. We camped at night at an elevation 
of 6,988 feet, in the midst of gneissic hills, which become granitoid in 
places. The following morning we entered Wild Cat Canon, a pictur- 
esque, gorge-like valley, the rocks of which stand out boldly on either 
side. At the head of the canon I found a vein of coarse granite, con- 
taining labradorite in good cleavable masses. In some of the specimens 
the play of colors was particularly tine. There were also some good 
crystals of black mica, (biotite.) The surrounding rocks were fine- 
grained granites of a reddish hue. On top of the granites were 

Per cent. 

Sanidine, estimated at 

Nepheline, estimated at 

Hornblende, (arvendsonite) 



53. 55 
9. 34 
3. 67 
0. 04 



quartz porphyries, or elvanite, which passed into felstoue, or petrosilex. 
In some places there appeared to be a dike running through the granite. 
The elvanite I found of two varieties, one having a gray-colored matrix 
with feldspar crystals of a i^ink tinge, and the other having a red matrix 
with white crystals disseminated through it. The petrosilex, or felstone, 
was of various shades, blue, gray, yellow, and red, predominating. The 
yellow variety has a specific gravity of 2.01 ; the blue, 2.53 ; and the gray, 
2.72. These rocks seem to pass into gneiss, which itself at some distance 
becomes granitoid, thus proving them to be of the same composition as 
granite, only in a more compact state, having been forced through the 
granite and therefore of later origin. 

We camped in the evening of the 2d of July on Black-Tail Deer Creek. 
Leaving here the following morning, the first part of our course led us 
up over hills that were once the bottom of some large lake. Beaching 
the top, a grand view burst on our sight. We stood on the rim of a 
vast amphitheater. At its bottom, far beneath us, was a green line 
marking the course of a stream, one of the branches of the Stinking 
Water River. The rounded hills converged toward the stream, while 
here and there, on their sides, were projecting strata of white Pliocene 
sandstones, contrasting well with the grassy slopes. On the top, even 
underneath our feet, was a capping of black basaltic rock, which on some 
sides projected oyer the edge. So regular was it that it seemed as 
though it had been laid with mathematical accuracy. The background 
completing this picture was composed of sharp peaks and hills, with a 
blue, snowy range in the extreme distance. We now began to descend, 
proceeding down the caiion, which is named the Devil's Pathway. Our 
road led us between masses of gneissic and granitoid rocks. Here again 
we found dikes of elvanite, quartz-porphyries, and felstones, some of 
beautiful colors, red, blue, gray, and violet. I obtained a strii)ed or 
slaty porphyry, looking very much like riband jasper. 

Emerging from the rocky walls we pitched our tents on the bank of 
the Passamaria, or Stinking Water River. The next day we again 
passed over modern formations in an old lake basin until within some 
ten miles of Virginia City, when w^e came across quartzose rocks mostly 
auriferous. Here we found the first evidences of mining. Near the road 
a man by name David Lloyd was industriously washing out the gravel 
from the side of a foot-hill. He informed me that he was averaging 
about $3 per day. 

Passing between quartzose and gneissic hills containing veins of gar- 
netiferous hornblende schist we soon began to ascend, and crossing the 
hills, passed through Nevada, a small mining town below Virginia City. 
All about us were the evidences of mining in the heaps of bare pebbles, 
numerous water-courses, and upturned barrows. It being the anniver- 
sary of our national independence, all were idle save a few Chinamen. 

Virginia City is situated in Madison County, in the southern part of 
Montana, and is one of the chief mining centers of the Territory. It is 
on Alder Gulch, one of the tributaries of the Stinking Water, or Passa- 
maria River. The mines about Virginia City are principally placer-dig- 
gings. Gold was discovered on Alder Gulch in 1803, being the second 
discovery in the Territory ; the placer-diggings of Bannack having been 
discovered in 1862. Since that time enormous quantities of gold have 
been taken out, although it is impossible to say exactly how much, as 
the estimates are conflicting. 

Alder Gulch is about sixteen miles long, and has a number of tribu 
taries, all of which contain gold. Bald Mountain stands at the head of 
the gulch. Near it the gold is coarse, and the farther we go from it 


down the gulch the finer it becomes. The width of the gulch will aver- 
age about 200 feet, and the hills on either side are rounded. The coun- 
try rock is gneiss, presenting the same characteristics as that I have be- 
fore noticed, being in many places garnetiferous. The gravel is washed 
through a flume and the gold caught at various parts of its length. One 
of the greatest wants for the successful prosecution of mining here is a 
water-supply. There are a number of quartz-mines about Virginia 
City, but all unite in saying that more capital is needed to make them 
pay well. I was shown specimens of argentiferous galena and of cop- 
per ore, which will no doubt one day add much to the prosperity of 
Montana. The copper, I was told, was being mined and sent to Cali- 
fornia to be smelted. In Alder Gulch I obtained good specimens of 
garnets and precious serpentine. 

We left Vixgiuia City on the Gth of July, and crossed the hills to the 
Madison River, traveling in a northerly direction. We passed over dark 
igneous rocks, which were in contact with coarse ferruginous sandstones. 
We followed the riv^er until its passage through a narrow canon neces- 
sitated our turning from it and crossing the mountains. Soon after 
leaving the river we crossed Meadow Creek, which flows through an ex- 
ceedingly beautiful and fertile valley. We now began to ascend rapidly, 
and passed by three deserted shafts sunk in the granite beds. Besides 
granites there are here quartzites and gneiss. Soon after crossing the 
summit, we encamped in the Hot Spring district. Near our camp were 
some hot springs, which, however, presented but little of interest. The 
highest temperature was 76° F., and the low^est 04^ F. ; the temperature 
of the air being 48^ F. The largest spring was only about a foot and a 
half in diameter, and four inches in dqith. The rock at whose base 
they have their origin is a reddish syenite. A few miles farther on 
Ave passed some larger springs, situated close to the road. Their size 
was about 4 feet by 10 feet. The highest temperature here was 124^ F., 
and the lowest 110^ F. : the atmosphere at the time of observation being 
50O F. They were filled with Confervoidea. We passed by a number of 
mills all working, being supj)lied with the gold ore from quartz-mines 
in the neighborhood. One of these mines, the Eed Bluft* lode, I visited. 
The lode, which is owned by J. J. Lown, dips to the north, the strike 
being east and west. Its width varies from 2 feet to 7 feet. The coun- 
try rock is mainly gneiss. The hanging wall is a gray granite, and 
its foot-wall gneiss. There are two shafts 100 feet apart, the first one 
reaching the depth of 105 feet, and the second 110 feet. They are con- 
nected by a passage, which extends 45 feet beyond the second shaft, get- 
ting below the water-level. The ore is principally a red jasper, with 
the particles of metallic gold disseminated through it and iflainly visi- 
ble. Below this jaspery ore there are galena and pyrites. I also ob- 
tained some beautiful pieces of blue chalcedony and some semiopal, the 
latter being almost all dendritic. Approaching the hanging wall the 
ore passed into a porphyritic rock, with large masses of bright-red jas- 
per. The mine had been worked for six months, and in that time had 
averaged $00 to the ton. There were about eight men employed, at the 
rate of $3 each per day. Leaving here, a ride of a few miles brought 
us, a second time, to the Madison Biver, which having cut its way 
through the mountains, here spreads out and iiows smoothly between 
low rounded hills, from whose grassy slopes ridges of gneiss and horn- 
blende schist project. On examination these latter proved to be gar- 
netiferous. Following the Madison but a short distance, we turned to 
the right and crossed the hills to the valley of the Gallatin Biver. This 
is the garden valley of Montana. It will average fifteen miles in width, 



and is about sixty miles long. It is well watered by the branches of 
the Gallatin Kiver, which are extensively used in irrigation. The hilis 
are covered with excellent grass, and form one of the best grazing 
grounds in the world. Quite a considerable part of the valley is already 
under cultivation. Crossing the Gallatin, we soon arrived at Bozemau 
City, a flourishing town, destined to be of considerable importance 
should the Northern Pacific Railroad run through it. Three miles be- 
yond the town we pitched our tents at Fort Ellis. Fort Ellis is situated 
on the eastern side of the Gallatin Yalley, on the east branch of the Gal- 
latin Elver, and has a force of four companies of cavalry and one com- 
pany of infantry, under the command of Major E. M. Baker. On the 
11th of July we visited a small lake twelve miles southeast of the fort. 
After a ride over a trail which led through dense timber, making our 
progress difficult, we reached the lake, a beautiful sheet of water en- 
scoused in the midst of hills which rise to a considerable height around 
it. It is about half a mile in width, and the stream flowing from it 
forces its way in a deep gully through quartzites. It falls about 500 
feet in a quarter of a mile. It rushes along with furious rapidity, leav- 
ing high i)rojections of rock on either side. The lake shore is bordered 
with limestones, which rest on the quartzites. Having refitted and ob- 
tained an escort, we left Fort Ellis on the 15th, and, after a ride of but 
nine miles over a very rough road, w^ent into camp. During the day 
we passed over fossiliferous sandstones of Tertiary ori^>1n. At the head 
of Si)ring Canon, through which a small stream flows to join the Galla- 
tin, we passed an old coal-mine. It is abandoned, and being full of 
water prevented our entrance. The shaft, however, does not penetrate 
very far. The coal is lignite, similar to that found along the Union 
Pacific Railroad. On top of the sandstones we again had igneous rocks, 
(dark basalts.) For the two following days we were obliged to travel 
very slowly, having to build our road in many places. The sandstones 
and basalts continued until we reached the valley of the Yellowstone 
River, which we entered on the morning of the 17th. The flow of the 
lava has spread out over the valley, forming a floor-, over which our road 
led. I obtained on our way chips of chalcedony and obsidian, which 
were abundantly scattered over the valley. 

The valle}^ of the Yellowstone, at the point we entered it, is about 
four miles wide, and has on its eastern margin a grand mountain range, 
whose sharp peaks proclaim its volcanic origin. The river is easily 
traced by the line of timber on its banks. At Botteler's Ranch we 
formed our permanent camp, being unable to take our wagons farther, 
and made preparations to pursue our way with pack-mules. On the 
20th of July we left Botteler^s, stringing out in single file, with our 
pack-train along the trail up the Yellowstone River. The trail led us 
along the left bank of the river over igneous rock, the most conspicuous 
of which was a breccia composed of large masses of black material 
imbedded in a red matrix. After a ride of about fifteen miles we reached 
the lower cailon. Here the river breaks through masses of gneissic 
rock, which rise abruptly from the water's edge, and over which our trail 
was very steep and rocky. The canon is about three-quarters of a mile 
in length and about 280 feet wide. At the bottom of this ravine the 
river, of an emerald tint, rushes over the rocks, whose resistance causes 
it to be thrown into numerous foam-capped ripples. The gneissic rocks 
are for the most part garnetiferous, though somewhat indistinctly so. 
They pass in many i)laces into hornblende schists, and in others become 
granitoid. Emerging from the canon, our way led us alternately over 
low hills of igneous origin and expanded valleys. The soil seems to be 



made of the finely pulverized dust of volcanic rock, and is covered with 
a sparse growth of sage-brush. The river is bordered with a growth of 
thinly scattered pines and quaking-asps. In the mountains, on either 
side, are stratified limestones, which rest on the gneissoid rocks we 
observed in the canon. Scattered over the hills and through the valleys 
I found many beautiful specimens of chalcedony and chips of obsidian. 
Many of the chalcedonies were geodes, in which were crystals of quartz ; 
others contain opal in the center and agate on the exterior ; and still 
others have on the outside attached crystals of calcite. A short dis- 
tance above the canon we came to Cinnabar Mountain, so named from 
the color of some of its rocks, which have been mistaken for cinnabar, 
although the red color is due to iron. Here we encountered what is called 
the DeviPs Slide. It consists of two masses of rock in almost vertical 
position, perfectly defined as two walls. They are about 50 feet in 
width each, and 300 feet high, reaching from the top of the mountain to 
its base. They are separated from each other about 150 feet, the inter- 
vening softer material having in the lapse of time been washed away. 
The right-hand mass is a whitish quartzite, w'hile the left-hand 
one is a dike of greenish porphyritic trachyte in w^hich the crystals 
of feldspar are thickly disseminated. Parallel with these two principal 
walls are many more ridges of quartzitic and slaty nature, none of which 
equal them in magnitude. They are all nearly at right angles to the 
strata of limestone, which lie on either side. In a space to the right; 
of the main ridge there is a broad red band reaching from the top to 
the bottom of the mountain. It is caused by the sliding of ferruginous 
limestone and clay. It is about 20 feet wide and distinctly outlined. 
These ridges must have been forced into their present position when the 
strata above were horizontal. That there has been a terrible 
convulsion here in the past is proved a few miles farther on, where the 
strata of limestone are so contorted that, within the space of 200 feet, 
they dip in three dift'erent directions. In the limestone there was an 
abundance of crystals of calcite. Some eight or ten miles farther on 
we reached Gardiner's Eiver, a stream emptying into the Yellowstone 
just as the latter emerges from a canon. Here we left the Yellowstone 
to visit some hot springs about four miles above the junction of the 
two streams. We soon came to the evidences of hot springs in the 
calcareous deposit, beneath which the warm w^ater escaped into the 
river. Passing a number of hot springs, we began the ascent of a steep 
hill, passing over the deposit, which gave forth a hollow sound beneath 
our horses' feet. Suddenly we came in full sight of the springs. We 
were totally unprepared to find them so beautiful and extensive. Be- 
fore us lay a high white hill, composed of calcareous sediment deposited 
from numerous hot springs. The whole mass looked like some grand 
cascade that had been suddenly arrested in its descent, and frozen. On 
examination we found that the deposit extended for some two miles 
farther up the gorge, and below reached to the edge of the river, occu- 
pying altogether about three square miles, although the greater part 
of it is now in ruins and overgrown with pines. Still the outlines can 
be very distinctly traced. The principal mass is arranged in a series 
of terraces, one above the other, each being composed of beautiful 
basins^ semicircular in shape, and having regular edges, with exquisitely 
scalloped margins. Their size varies, but will average 5 by 8 feet. 
They are filled with water of difierent temperatures, from cold to tbe 
boiling-point. The color of the sediment is for the most part white, al- 
though here and there are tinges of yellow where sulphur predominates, 
and red and pink where there is iron. The weathering of those parts 


iu whicli the springs are long extinct has caused it to assume a grayish 
appearance. The main springs are situated on a terrace about half 
way up the mountain, and cover an almost circular space of about two 
hundred yards in diameter. The color of the water here is almost in- 
describable, being the purest azure. From these springs clouds of 
steam are always rising, and the water is always bubbling and seething 
in its vast caldron-like basin. The water flowing thence proceeds 
downward from terrace to terrace, until it reaches the lowest, consider- 
bly cooled. The springs in the center of the main basin are probably 
all at the boiling-point, although we were unable to determine iheir 
temperatures as they were beyond our reach. The temi^erature of the 
hottest we were able to determine was 162° F. The terrace imme- 
diately above the main basin is bordered by a long rounded ridge, 
with a fissure extending its whole length. From this fissure nothing 
but hot vapors and steam escape. Its interior is lined with beautiful 
crystals of pure sulphur. The bubbling and gurgling of the water far 
beneath could be distinctly heard. Back of this ridge were two small 
geyser-like jets of water, which rose to the height of 3 feet intermit- 
tently. Farther up the gorge, about 1,000 feet above the level of tho 
river, we discovered two mound-like formations, the largest of which 
was about 20 feet in height and 50 feet long by 30 feet wide. The other 
was only about 5 feet high. From the toi> of these the water spouted 
to the height of 4 or 5 feet, each geyser-spout proceeding from a small 
conical mound about a foot in height and eight inches in diameter at 
its base. Breaking one of these cones, the tube through which the 
water came was found to be very small, only about a quarter of an inch 
in diameter, while the remainder of the cone was composed of layer 
upon layer of sediment deposited by the overflowing water. Kear these 
mounds there is a sulphur-spring emitting a considerable quantity of 
sulphureted hydrogen. On the lower terrace the water has spread out 
more and formed shallower basins. Here there are also some remark- 
able formations, high, chimney-like masses of the sediment, composed 
of layer upon layer, which, in the lapse of time, has become very hard. 
One of the most curious of these, the Liberty Cap, named from its 
shape, is about 45 feet high and 15 feet thick. It is altogether likely 
that these have once been veritable spouting geysers, for they are anal- 
ogous in structure to the smaller active ones found higher up the val- 
ley. They became so high, however, that the pressure of the column 
of water was too great for the boiling-point to be attained in the depths 
below. Then the eruptions ceased, and the spring gradually became 
extinct, leaving these masses stand as monuments of their former 

The temperature of the water near the river is 120° F.; in some 
springs a little higher up, 130^ F.; and on the lower terrace, 155° F. 
Still a little higher there is a boiling spring, 102^ F. On the second 
terrace the temperature varies from 142° F. to lG2o F. On the third or 
main terrace it is Irom 155° F. to 102° F., and on the next, where the 
small geysers are, it is from 156^ F. to 102^ F. At the two mounds high 
up the valley it is from 142° F. to 143° F., while in the sulphur spring 
near them it is only 112° F. The average temperature of the atmos- 
phere was 03^ F. The majority of the springs give oft' sulphureted 
hydrogen gas, some being more strongly impregnated than others. The 
water contains sulphureted hydrogen, sulphate of magnesia, and car- 
bonates of lime, soda, and potassa. Whence do these springs obtain 
the lime which is so abundant in their composition ? I thinlc from the 
passage of the water through the strata of limestone. Even the igneous 



rocks, whicli are mostly porpbyritic trachytes of a light-gray color, 
contain a considerable percentage of lime, and some of the pieces I 
obtained were coated with crystals of calcite. To the west of the hills 
there are high volcanic peaks on the summits of the hills, whose eleva- 
tion is considerable. To the east, bordering Gardiner's Eiver, there is 
a remarkable wall, composed of limestones and sandstones, capped with 
a layer of basalt. Indeed, the whole valley is shut in by high hills. In 
New Zealand there is a hot-spring formation which resembles this very 
much in appearance, although the constitution of the sediment is differ- 
ent. In New Zealand silica predominates j here carbonate of lime 
appears in the greatest quantity. The white deposit contains — 

Carbonate of lime, 
Chloride of calcium, 
Carbonate of magnesia, 
Carbonate of strontia, 
Carbonate of soda, 
Carbonate of potassa, 
Sulphate of magnesia, 

I insert Hochstetter's description of the New Zealand formation, to 
show how similar it is in appearance : 

" First of all is Te Tarata (signifying tatooed rock) at the northeast 
end of the lake, (liotomahana,) with its terraced marble steps projecting 
into the lake, the most marvelous of the Eotomahana marvels. About 
80 feet above the lake, on the fern-clad slope of a hill, from Avhich in 
various i)laces hot vapors are escaping, there lies the immense boiling 
caldron in a crater-like excavation with steep, reddish sides 30 to 40 
feet high, and open only on the lake side toward the west. The basin of 
the spring is about 80 feet long and 60 wide, and filled to the brim with 
j)erfectly clear, transparent water, which in the snow-white incrusted 
basin appears of a beautiful color like the blue turquois. At the margin 
of the basin I found a temperature of 183° F,, but in the middle, where 
the water is in a constant state of ebullition to the height of several 
feet, it probably reaches the boiling-point. Immense clouds of steam, 
reflecting the beautiful blue of the basin, curl up, generally obstructing 
the view of the whole surface of water; but the noise of boiling and 
seething is always distinctly audible. The reaction of the water is neu- 
tral ; it has a slight salty, but by no means unpleasant taste, and pos- 
sesses in a high degree petrifying, or rather incrusting qualities. The 
deposit of the w^ater is like that of the Iceland springs, siliceous, not 
calcareous, and the siliceous deposits and incrustations of the constantly 
overflowing water have formed on the slope of the hill a system of 
terraces, which, as white as if cut from marble, present an aspect which 
no description or illustration is able to represent. It has the appear- 
ance of a cataract plunging over natural shelves, which, as it falls, is sud- 
denly turned into stone. 

" The siliceous deposits cover an area of about three acres of land. For 
the formation of those terraces, such as we see them to-day, doubtless 
thousands of years were required. Forbes, judging by the thickness 
of the siliceous deposits on the great geyser of Iceland, which he esti- 
mates at 702 inches, and by the observation that an object exposed to 
the discharge of the geyser-water for the space of twenty-four hours 
is covered with a sheet of paper thickness, has calculated the approxi- 



mate a^^e of the great geyser at one tlioiisand aiul thirty-six years. Sim- 
ilar calculatioiis might be made also with regard to tlie Tetarata fountain 
by examining the thickness of the siliceous incrustations. 

" The Hat, spreading foot of the terraces extends far into the lake. There 
the terraces commence with low shelves containing shallow water-basins. 
The farther up, the higher grow the terraces ; two, three, also some four 
and six feet high. They are Ibrmed by a number of semicircular stages, 
of which, however, not two are of the same height. Each of these 
stages has a small raised margin, from which slender stalactites are 
hanging down upon the lower stage ; and encircles on its platform one 
or more basins resplendent with the most beautifnl blue water. These 
small water-basins represent as many natural bathing-basins, which the 
most refined luxury could not have prepared in a more splendid and 
commodious style. The basins can be chosen shallow or deep, large 
or small, and of every variety of tem])erature, as the basins upon the 
higher stages, nearer to the main basin, contain warmer water than 
those upon the lower ones. Some of the basins are so large and so 
deep that one can easily swim about in them. In ascending the steps, 
it is, of course, necessary to wade in the tepid water, which spreads be- 
side the lower basins upon the platform of the stages, but rarely reach- 
ing above the ankle. During violent w^ater-eruptions from the main 
basin, steaming cascades may occur 5 at ordinary times but very little 
water ripples over the terraces 5 and only the principal discharge on the 
south side forms a hot, steaming fall. After reaching the highest ter- 
race there is an extensive jdatform, with a number of basins, 5 to 6 feet 
deep, their water showing a temperature of 90^ F. to 110° F. In the mid- 
dle of this platform, there arises, close to the brink of the main basin, 
a kind of rock island, about tw^elve feet high, decked with manuka, 
mosses, lycopodium, and fern. It may be visited without danger, and 
from it the curious traveler has a fair and full view into the blue, boil- 
ing, and steaming caldron. Such is the famous Tetarata." 

The above is an almost perfect description of the springs at Gardiner's 
Eiver. We have the same beautifully clear blue water ; the terraces 
and basins even to the stalactitic processes hanging from the latter. 
We have also an upper x^latform or basin with the main springs, from 
which continual clouds of steam are rising. The lower terraces are also 
shallower and their basins filled with cooler w^ater. We have the wsame 
form of natural bathing-basins of a pure white color. To these latter 
some of our party gave the names of Jupiter's baths and Diana's pools. 
The differences are these : in New Zealand the deposit, is mainly siliceous, 
here it is calcareous j in New Zealand the water is neutral, here it is 
alkaline ; in New Zealand the main spring is probably a vast geyser. 
At Gardiner's River it is not likely, at the present time at least, that it 
is a geyser, lor the main springs are so large that even if there is a tube 
at the base supplying one of the conditions for a geyser the pressure of 
the water would prevent any eruption unless it should take place at ex- 
tremely long intervals. If so, the display would be grand beyond all 
jjrecedent. It is likely, however, that some time in the past it has ful- 
filled all the conditions of a geyser. The deposit at Gardiner's Eiver is 
much more extensive than that of the Tetarata. 

We left the hot springs on the 24th of July. Proceeding down the 
hill we crossed the two branches of Gardiner's River and wound our 
way up the right bank of the east fork of the river. Our course was 
along the steep side of the mountain, over sandstones, which were capped 
with a broad plateau of basalt, fragments of which were strewn along 
our trail. After about four miles of steady climbing we reached the top 
12 G S 



of the valley. Here tlie basaltic layer extends across tlie gorge, formlDg 
an abrupt perpendicular wall, broken only on the side opposite that on 
which we were. Here the water rushes down in a beautiful fall, its 
beauty half-hidden by the dense foliage of the pines which surround it. 
Ascending upon the basaltic platform, and looking back, the scene was 
grand. High mountains in all directions, their rounded forms relieved 
by numerous sharp peaks, formed the background, while in the fore- 
ground beneath us lay the valley through which we had come. The 
central feature of the whole scene was the hot-spring formation, its pure 
white color contrasting strongly with the green of the surrounding 
vegetation. Turning again, the scene in front was different. Although 
there was less of grandeur tliere was more of beauty. Before us lay low, 
rolling hills clad in bright verdure and dotted with scattered groups of 
pines. About a mile farther on we passed a second cascade. The water 
flows down a bed of basalt, which is inclined at an angle of about 45°, 
arranged in a series of ledges reaching from the top to the bottom, a 
distance of about 200 feet. These ledges cause the water to be broken 
into foam, giving it at a distance, the appearance of a mass of snow. 
Bordering the cascade are chimney-like masses of red igneous rock. 
The horizontal and vertical fissures in it make the resemblance to ma- 
sonry very striking. Near here we obtained some good specimens of 
silicified wood. 

The following day we reached the Yellowstone River at the junction 
of its two forks. Here we encountered gneissic rocks, and scattered 
over the valley were numerous granitic bowlders, their rounded form 
plainly indicating that they must have been carried some distance be- 
fore being deposited in their present position. Above the junction of 
the two forks the main branch of the river emerges from a canon, which 
is over 500 feet in depth, its walls being almost perpendicular. The 
walls have a capping of basalt, the columnar form of which is very dis- 
tinct, especially at Column Rock, near the mouth of Tower Creek. 
Tower Creek is a swift mountain torrent, which, after rushing through 
a narrow gorge, with steep and often precipitous sides, suddenly dashes 
over a ledge of rock, and falls perpendicularly a distance of 156 feet 
into a rounded basin which the water has cut out of the solid limestone. 
The width of the fall is about 20 feet. Reaching the bottom the water 
hurries on through a short canon to the Yellowstone River. Upon the 
limestones rest volcanic rocks, trachytic in nature. These have been 
so eroded by the action of the torrent as to leave tower-like masses 100 
feet in height, standing isolated on the edge of the creek. Two of these 
columns stand, one on either side of the fall, at its edge. They are yel- 
lowish in color from the presence of sulphur, and the exposure to the 
weather has rendered them very friable. The bank of the Yellowstone, 
immediately opposite the mouth of Towner Creek, is about 600 feet high 
and has two rows of basaltic columns, each one of which is about 25 feet 
in height and 5 feet in diameter. Between these two layers, which are 
200 feet apart, are beds which seem to have a large amount of sulphur 
in their composition from their bright-yellow color. We wxre not able, 
however, to cross the river to determine it. There are also, doubtless, 
numbers of hot springs scattered along the edge of the river on that 
side. A few yards above the mouth of Tower Creek, on a small stream 
emptying into the Yellowstone River, there was a hot spring and a 
number of vent-holes giving off sulphureted and carbureted hydrogen. 
The main spring is only 2 feet in diameter and about 18 inches deep. 
It is close to the edge of the creek and gives off sulphureted and carbu- 
reted hydrogen. The basin of the sirring is a black, claj ey material. 



Its temperature was 127^ F. The water was acid in reaction, and con- 
tains — 

Sulphate of iron and alumina, (abundant,) 
Sulphate of magnesia, 
Sulphate of lime, 
Chloride of calcium. 
Oxide of iron. 
Free sulphur, 
' Soda and potassa, (trace.) 
There is in the ravine in which the creek is situated a deposit of sul- 
phur, and also near the spring a deposit, white in color, contaiuing — 


In the bed of the stream there is an abundant deposit of sulphur 
and also a black carbonaceous material. The sulphurous odors ema- 
nating from the ravine are so strong as to be recognized at a consid- 
erable distance from it. A short distance above Tower Creek we 
ascended a peak called Mount Washburne, whose summit is composed 
of a light-gray trachytic rock containing acicular crystals of hornblende. 
On the sides of the mountain we found large pieces of chalcedony and 
agate. Near the base of the mountain there are situated quite a num- 
ber of sulphur and mud springs. A specimen from one of the latter 
was of an almost black color, and when dry was covered with a white 
efflorescence. It contained — 

Sulphate of alumina and iron. 

Sulphate of magnesia. 

Sulphide of calcium, 



Our next camp was near the Great Fall of the Yellowstone. It is at 
the head of the Grand Canon, a gorge averaging about a thousand feet 
in depth, which the water has cut through the volcanic rocks. These 
rocks are mostly trachytes of a white or gray color, on top of which 
there is a layer that is basaltic in its character. In many places they 
become rhyolitic, and contain crystals of sauidine, very abundantly dis- 
tributed through them. In one place I found a perlite-like trachyte 
porphyry, containing small feldspathic balls (spherulites) with a radi- 
ated fibrous structure, mixed with small pieces of obsidian. Some of 
the rocks are colored by iron, which has been deposited from hot springs. 
In other places there is an infiltration of sulphur, which gives them a 
bright-yellow color. There are still some warm springs on the edge of 
the river, and, at the only place we were able to get to it, there were 
three or four small springs giving off carbonic acid gas, which has 
caused an abundant deposit of sesquioxide of iron about them. Having 
no thermometer with us, we were unable to determine the temperature 
of the water; but it could not have been much over 90°. It contained 
a white organic material. Passing the upper fall, after a ride of about 
eighteen miles, we reached Crater Hills. These consist principally of 
two conical hills about 150 feet in height. There are several other hills 
which are smaller. They are all made up in part of hot-spring deposit 
and a white trachytic tufa. All about the hills there is an extensive 
deposit, mostly siliceous, forming a crust which often breaks through 
while walking over it. It is lined with beautiful crystals of sulphur. 



At the base of the bills there is a large boiling sulphur-spring, in which 
the water is constantly agitated, rising to the height of 3 and 4 feet. 
It is about 12 feet in diameter and encircled by a collar-like rim, which 
is beautifully incrusted. It consists principally of silica and sulphur. 
In the stream proceeding from the spring there is quite a deposit of 
sulphur. The water contains — 

Sulphur, (very abundant,) 



Lime, (trace,) 
Iron, (trace,) 
Sulphuric acid. 

Its temperature is 183Jo F. About 300 feet west of this spring there 
is a steam-jet, which was named the Locomotive Jet from the noise 
made by the steam in escaping. The temperature there was 191° F. 
On the sides of the hills there were many more steam-jets, in which the 
highest temperature attained was 197 F. To the southeast of the 
boiling sulphur-spring is a large turbid spring about 35 feet in diameter. 
Its contents consisted of a very thin bluish mud containing — 

Sulphate of alumina of iron, 

Chloride of magnesium, 

Sulphate of alumina, 

Free suliDhur, 


and having a temi^erature of 103^ F. It was acid in rea^ctiou and tasted 
strongly of alum. About three hundred yards south from the main 
spring there is a collection of mud and sulphur springs. The princix)al 
mud-spring in this group contains a thick, blue mud. It has the con- 
sistency of paint, and the steam, in escaping from it, does so with a 
thud-like noise, and at times projects the mud to a considerable height. 
Its temperature is 188 Jo F. The mud has a strong alum taste, is acid 
in reaction, and contains — 

Sulphate of iron and alumina, 

Sulphate of magnesia, 

Chloride of magnesium, 



IS'ear this latter spring there is another, which was named the Foam 
Spring. The water is very turbid and, floating on its surface, there is 
a greenish, sandy, foam-like material consisting of — 

Sulphur, (very abundant,) 


Oxid-e of calcium. 

Sulphate of alumina. 
It is in a constant state of agitation. There are many other sulphur 
and mud-springs here, which resemble one another closely. All the mud- 
springs are impregnated with alum, and the stream flowing away from 
the hills is called Alum Creek, the water of which is strongly astringent. 
The alum is an iron alum. Leaving the hills we found camp, situated 
on the bank of the Yellowstone Eiver, at a place called Mud Volcanoes. 
Here again was a large collection of mud and sulphur springs. Imme- 
diately back of camp were two crater-like mud-springs or volcanoes 
about 10 feet in depth, at the bottom of which the escaping steam kept 



the thick, blue mud in a state of violent agitation, sometimes throwing 
it to the height of 15 or 20 feet. This mud contained — 

Sulplsate of iron and alumina, 

Sulphate of magnesia, 

Chloride of magnesium, 

Alumina, • 



Near these mud-craters there were also some alum-pools containing 
alum and sulphur. On the edges of these pools there were a number 
of holes, from which there was a bubbling of water that flowed into the 
springs. Upon ascending the hill, at whose base these springs wwe 
situated, we could see immense volumes of steam rising toward the 
southeast. Proceeding in that direction about 400 yards we came to a 
sort of a cave in a sandstone rock. The entrance is about 15 feet high, 
and it gradually slopes inward for about 20 feet. At this point, at regu- 
lar intervals of a few seconds, there bursts forth a mass of steam, with a 
pulsation which shakes the ground, while a stream of clear water flows 
from the mouth of the cavern. Its temperature was 184^ F. The 
water had a very faint alum taste, and gave of£ a slight odor of sul- 
phureted hydrogen. This S]mng we named the Grotto. A little far- 
ther on, after j^assing a large muddy sulphur pool of about 20 feet in 
diameter, we found on the side of the hill a huge mud-crater. Its orifice 
is circular and from it there escapes a dense volume of steam, obscuring 
for the greater part of the time the view of the boiling mass of mud, which 
is 20 feet below the surface. It was too deep for us to determine its tem- 
perature. The mud seems to be very thin and of a blackish color. Some, 
of the mud from the rim of the crater contains alumina and silica, with a 
, little iron, lime, soda, and potassa. It is probably a true mud-geyser, for 
the appearance of the crater and the trees around it would indicate that 
at times it ejects its contents to a considerable height. The trees within 
200 feet of it are coated with dried mud even to their topmost branches. 
During our stay, however, it had no eruption. About three hundred 
yards southeast of this crater we discovered another muddy geyser. 
The basin of this geyser was about 50 feet in diameter, and situated in 
a basin circular in shai)e, containing two other springs. Its tempera- 
ture was 191^ F. The trapper who was with us, and who had visited 
the place before, assured us that about G o'clock p. m. it would com- 
mence spouting. We waited somewhat incredulously, for the spring 
was quite placid. Soon, however, there began a slight bubbling in the 
center, and the water began to rise gradually in the basin until sud- 
denly it was thrown into violent agitation, the contents becoming very 
muddy. Immense volumes of steam escaped, throwing the water to 
the height of 20 feet. The eruption lasted about a quarter of an hour, 
when it ceased as suddenly as it began, and the surface of the water 
w^as more iflacid than before. This eruption took place eight times in 
twenty-six hours. These salses, or mud-volcanoes, are known to all vol- 
canic regions. They are found in South America, in Italy, in Java, in 
New Zealand, and in Iceland. We found them always where the water 
w\as obliged to pass through a bed of clay. In the last group I have de- 
scribed, in one case, that of the Grotto," the water came through sand- 
stone and was perfectly transparent and clear. Had it been situated in a 
bed of clay it would probably have been a mud-spring. In all of these 
we found sulphureted hydrogen gas to a greater or less degree, and 
they were all impregnated with alum. The sulphureted hydrogen is 
probably decomposed, losing its hydrogen. The sulphur, becoming 


oxidized, unites with the iron and ahimina found in the clay and forms 
the sulphate of alumina and iron. There were, also, in this group a 
number of springs that were extinct. Between the active springs, in 
which the mud was very thin, and those which were extinct, nothing 
remaining save the hardened clay, there were springs of every grade as 
considered in reference to tbe consistency of their contents. The water, 
in the lapse of time, becomes less and less, either by finding new chan- 
nels, or more likely by evaporation ; the mud becomes thicker and thicker 
until finally all the water disappears, leaving merely vents through which 
steam escapes; and after a while even these become extinct, and the 
orifices become clogged up with detritus. All hot springs and salses are 
the evidence of languishing volcanic action. 

We reached Yellowstone Lake on the 28th of July, and on the 31st a 
small party of us left the lake to visit the geyser region of the Fire-Hole 
Eiver, the head- water of the Madison. The remainder of the party 
were to move camp some twenty-eight miles farther to the south, where 
we would join them in about a week. After a hard day's travel of 
thirty-one miles through heavy timber we reached the head- waters of 
the east fork of the Madison, or Fire-Hole Eiver. The mountain range 
over which we i)assed was igneous, and in many places masses of pure 
obsidian were observed. We passed by a number of fumeroles, from 
which steam and gas were escaping, while all about them was the 
white siliceous deposit, mingled with sulphur and iron, indicating the 
past existence of hot springs. The water in the stream on whose bank 
we were encamped was quite warm, although in the morning the mer- 
cury in the open air was down almost to the freezing-point. About a 
mile and a half from our camp were some hot springs, covering an area 
of about 200 square yards. Their temperature varied from 128° F. to 
199° F. The deposit of some of the springs was calcareous. 

Leaving here we proceeded down stream, passing a number of hot 
springs, some of which were noticeable from the iron deposited in their 
basins. Their temperatures were from 142° F. to 102o F. The iron was de- 
postied on an organic material, which was abundant in springs of low 
temperature. Just before going into camp we passed four hot springs 
of considerable size. They were each situated in the center of a slightly 
elevated mound, which sloped gradually from the edge of the spring 
until lost in the general level. The first was 4 feet in diameter, having 
a temperature of lG2o F. The second was 2 feet in diameter, its tem- 
perature being 170° F. The third was only about a foot in width and 
reached 174° F. The fourth and largest was somewhat irregular in 
shape, being about 15 feet in length and 5 feet in width, the thermom- 
eter here recording 156° F. A short distance from these springs was 
a small mud-spring about a foot in diameter. At the bottom of it, about 
a foot from the surface, was an agitated mass of thick, bluish mud, hav- 
ing a temperature of 190° F. 

Our camp, on the evening of August 1, was on the right bank of the 
east fork of the Madison or Fire-Hole Eiver, in the lower geyser basin 
of the Fire-Hole. We divide the springs and geysers of this basin into 
seven principal groups for the purpose of description. Immediately 
opposite our camp along the river, occupying a space about a quarter 
of a mile wide and nearly two miles long, was the first group. Here 
we recorded the temperatures of sixty-seven springs. The lowest was 
106° F., the highest 198° F., and the average 159° F., more than one- 
half being above 160° F. The temperature of the air was about 50° F. 
Some of these were geysers, with small tubular orifices, projecting the 
water from 2 to 5 feet. There were also some large tranquil springs or 



cisterns, with beautifully iiicrusted siliceous basins, containing water 
whose tint was an exquisite blue. One of these, whose basin was 
incrusted with successive ridges, along each of which there was a line 
of the colors of the spectrum, we called the Prismatic Spring. The 
majoritj^ of them were simply siliceous springs. A lew, however, were 
chalybeate. The siliceous sinter, (geyserite,) which was very abundant, 
contained a trace of lime, iron, and magnesia. In some of the springs 
of low temperature there was a leathery-like organic material of a red 
color. The following day we moved our camp nearer the center of the 
basin, about two and a half miles farther south. On our way we passed 
between two conical, isolated, trachytic hills. The space between our 
two camps is filled for the most part by the sinter, and where there is 
none the ground is marshy. A small stream flowed past our camp con- 
veying the water from the springs to the river. Immediately in front 
of our camp, about eight hundred yards distant, was the second group, 
composed principally of geysers. They occupied an area of about three- 
quarters of a mile. We recorded here the temperatures of sixteen springs, 
one-half of which were over 190° F. The lowest w^as 140° F., and the 
highest 196° F., the average being 183^ F. The temperature of the air 
was about 55^ F. to 60^ F. One of the geysers, ffom the peculiar noise it 
made, was called the Thud Geyser. There were many of them that 
threw the water from 5 to 10 feet high. In the cool, frosty morn- 
ing the basin resembled some manufacturing center, as clouds of steam 
could be seen in all directions. The principal geyser of this group 
was situated on the slope of a small hill, and was about 20 feet in diam- 
eter. The rim is about 5 feet wide and 5 feet high. It is composed of 
geyserite of a grayish color, and is full of deep pockets, which contain 
balls of geyserite about the size of walnuts, each one being covered with 
little rosette-like formations. The column of water thrown out by this 
geyser during its eruptions is very wide, and reaches the height of 50 
feet. Near it we obtained some pieces of wood, which were coated with 
geyserite of a delicate pink tinge. The silica had thoroughly pene- 
trated the woody fiber. We found, also, some pine-cones, coated in the 
same manner, forming beautiful specimens. A few yards back of the 
geyser were three large mud-springs, in one of which the mud was red, 
in another white, and in the third i)ink. They were all in agitation, 
and the jets of steam escaping caused the mud to assume the form of 
small conical points throughout the basins. They were situated in a bed 
of clay, the red color being due to iron. Below these latter there were 
some chalybeate springs, the bright- red iron deposit of which had spread 
over a considerable area and formed a glaring contrast with the white 
color of the siliceous material. About three-quarters of a mile to the 
southeast of this group is the third group, situated at the northwestern 
base of a spur of the mountains, and extending up a ravine a distance of 
one thousand yards. They occupied a space of about five hundred yards 
in width. One of the springs from its shape we named the Fissure Spring. 
We found here three sulphur springs, the only ones in the region. The 
amount of sulphur present, however, was not very great ; their tempera- 
tures were respectively 138° F., 154o F., and lOG^ F. In this ravine we 
took the temperatures of twenty springs, averaging 158^ F. ; the lowest was 
130° F., and the highest 19Go F. About the center of the group was a 
small lake GOO feet long and 150 feet wide, near the eastern shore of which 
there was a geyser, which spouted very regularly to the height of 15 or 
20 feet. A short distance southeast of the lake we found an iron-spring, 
which was surrounded by an abundant deposit ; its temperature was 160^ 
F. West of the lake were two geyser-cones, about 18 inches high and 


12 inclies across at their bases. From the top of these the water emerged. 
They were incrusted with a cauiiflower-like foi matioD, and near them 
in a fissure we obtained balls of geyserite coated in the same manner. 
The stream flowing from the lake is well tilled with a luxuriant growth 
of Confervoidca. 

About a thousand yards farther south is the fourth group. The 
ravine in which they are situated is about a mile and a half long and 
three hundred yards wide. Of the many springs and geysers which it 
contains, we took the temperature of forty- two, varying from 112^ F. to 
198^ F. The average temperature was ITO^ F., the temperature of the 
air being about 60*^ P. Just before entering the ravine we passed by a 
large cone about 25 feet in height, from the top of which steam was 
escaping. It is probably a geyser, although during our stay it did not 
have an eruption. At the mouth of the ravine we found the principal 
geyser of the group. Its basin was circular and about 60 feet in diame- 
ter, although the spring itself, which is in the center, is only about 15 
or 20 feet in diameter. The incrusted margin is full of sinuses, filled 
with hot water, which falls into them whenever the geyser is in opera- 
tion. These pockets contain, also, smooth, rounded pebbles of geyserite, 
varying in size from thy,t of a pea to a large-sized walnut. They have 
been rounded by the action of the water. The water in the spring of 
the geyser was of a blue color and constantly in agitation, though 
more violently so just before spouting. The column of water projected 
reaches the height of 100 feet, and is accompanied by immense clouds 
of steam. Near the upper end of the ravine was a spring, about which 
the deposit, instead of being white, was black. In some of the springs 
we found butterflies which had fallen in and been scalded to death, and 
on taking them out we found them coated with silica, thus commencing 
to undergo petrifaction. 

About a thousand yards west of our camp, on the banks of the Fire- 
Hole River, was the fifth group, the largest of all, covering a space of 
nearly a square mile, and comprising a large number of springs and 
geysers. We recorded the temperature of ninety-five, more than one- 
half of which were over 180o F. They varied from 112° F. to 196o F., 
the average being 172^ F. ; the air at the time of observation was 70^ 
F. One of the springs, from its resemblance to a shell, we named the 
Conch Spring. One geyser resembled a fortress with numerous port- 
holes, looking toward the river. Its temperature Avas 190° F. In the 
river were several small islands containing geysers. Opposite one of 
them, on the edge of the river, was a horn-like geyser-cone, which we 
named the Horn Geyser. Another we called the Cavern. There are 
also a number of fumaroles, or vent-holes, from which steam constantly 
escajxis. Near tlie nortliern end of the group the river flows close to 
the base of a small wooded hill, along the edge of which were some 
mud-springs and mud-geysers, the mud varying in color, being white 
in some and blue in others. In some it was very thick, and in others 
almost as thin as w^ater. On ascending the hill after passing through 
the woods, we came to a dozen or more interesting mud-springs. They 
were almost all situated at the bottom of large funnel-shaped craters, 
of about 20 feet diameter at their mouths. The mud in most of them 
was very thmk and of a white or grayish color, and the steam in escap- 
ing did so with a dull, thud-like noise, throwing back the mud in forms 
resembling the leaves of a lil^^ Near tliese there were some small mud- 
cones, from the top of which there was steam escaping. Breaking 
them open, they w^ere found to have veins of sulphur and iron running 
through them. About two miles southwest of the last-mentioned group 



is tlie sixth group, situated on a small stream flowing into the Fire- 
Hole. Tbey are in a large, open, prairie-like valley, which is for the 
most part marshy. At the head of the valley there is a beautiful cascade. 
AVe took the temperatures of thirty-four springs, varying from 100° P. 
to 1980 F., the average being 184o F. One of the springs was strongly 
chalybeate. The seventh group is on the Fire-Hole Eiver, about two 
and a half miles south Irom our camp. Here we met with the largest 
spriug we had yet encountered. It was over 400 feet in diameter, and 
the sinter extended in overlapping layers for a considerable distance 
around it. Below this, about GOO feet from the river, was a second 
huge spring, which we named the Caldron. The level of the water in 
it was 20 feet below us, and tbc view of it obscured by the dense clouds 
of steam rising from it. The glimpses we got revealed that it was of a 
beautiful blue color. One side of the wall was broken down, and 
thence the water flowed into the river through a number of streams, 
forming a cascade, whose beds were lined with the sesquioxide of iron. 
We took the temperatures of twenty of the springs, and found the 
average to be 184o F. The lowest temperature was 132^ F., and there 
were but two other springs below 173^ F. Oue-half of the springs 
were above 190o F., the highest being lOG^ F. The air v/as about TOo 
F. to 76^ F. The lower geyser-basin comprises an area of about thirty 
square miles, and the springs whose temperatures we took are but a 
small part of the whole mimber. They are divisible, like those of 
Iceland, into three classes : 1. Those which are constantly agitated or 
boiling. 2. Those which are agitated only at particular periods. 3. 
Those which are always tranquil. In the geysers the water is usually 
placid until within a short time of the eruption, when it begins to 
bubble and there m an escape of steam, the water rising gradually in 
the basin until suddenly it is projected into the air. 

We left our camp in the lower basin about noon of the 4th of August, 
proceeding up the Fire-Hole Eiver, and in the evening pitched our tents 
in the upper basin. This basin is not so large, occupying a space of 
only about three square miles, and containing a less number of springs. 
They are, however, much more active, and their craters are more beauti- 
ful, interesting, and larger. The majority of the springs and geysers 
are near the river, extending along it on both sides for about three miles. 
Many of them were named by the party under Langford and Doane, 
who visited them in 1870. Soon after getting into camp we were treated 
to an exhibition .that was truly wonderful. Immediately opposite us, 
at the base of a small hill, a geyser threw a column of water to 
the height of over 200 feet from the earth, which shook as the water 
fell back into its basin. It was accompanied with a vast quantit^^ of 
steam. We ga^ e it the name of the Grand Geyser. It had but one 
more eruption during our stay, and that during the next night, after an 
interval of thirty-one hours. The deposit throughout the valley is 
siliceous, as in the lower basin. We recorded the temperatures of one 
hundred and four springs and geysers, and these were but a few of the 
whole number. Many of those not taken were too violently agitated 
for us to approach them with safety. Others were so large as to be 
beyond the reach of the thermometer. Two-thirds of the tempera- 
tures taken were over 170^ F., the lowest 'being 113° F., and the high- 
est I960 Y. The temperature of the air was 07° F. The principal 
geysers were named as follows: The Soda Geyser, the Fan Geyser, 
the 'Eiverside, the Grotto, the Pyramid, the Giant, the Punch Bowl, 
the Grand Geyser, the Saw Mill, the Castle, the Giantess, the Bee 
Hive, and Old Faithful. The Soda Geyser was ' two miles below our 


camp, on the left baok of the river, and sponted with great regularity 
every ten minutes, throwing the water up 10 feet, resembling very much 
a soda-fountain, whence its name. The Grotto Geyser was situated 
about 500 yards northwest from our camp. It consists of a mass of 
sinter 12 feet in diameter and 5 feet high, full of large sinuous orifices, 
from which the water is projected during an eruption. Four hundred 
feet southeast of the Grotto is the Giant. The crater of this geyser is 
very rough and rises about 10 feet above the surrounding level. It is 8 
feet in diameter at its base and 5 or 6 at the top. One side is somewhat 
broken down, allowing one to see the boiling water in it. It projects a 
column of water of about 5 feet iu diameter to the height of 125 feet, 
the eruptions each lasting about two hours. Near the Grand Geyser, 
which was immediately opposite our camp, there was a small one, whicli 
w^e named the Saw Mill Geyser. It threw a small stream to the height 
of 10 or 15 feet almost uninterruptedly. Still farther up the river, and 
on the opposite side, is the Castle, the most beautiful of them all. It is 
situated in the center of a large, gently sloping mound of sinter, above 
which its crater rises about 20 feet. It is about 50 feet in length, and 
beautifully incrusted with bead-like formations. The whole mass 
resembles some old castle that has been subjected to a bombardment. 
It has an eruption every few hours. Between the Castle and the river 
is one of the large springs or cisterns so numerous throughout the 
region. It corresponds to the Langs of Iceland, which some time in the 
past have been geysers. This one is about 20 feet in diameter, and is 
funnel-shaped. The edge is lined with a series of beautifully regular * 
scallops. The Avater in this white siliceous basin is an exquisite tint, 
resembling the turquois blue. This intense blue, however, is not peculiar 
to this region. It is noticed as well in New Zealand and iu Iceland. 
The temperature of the water was 172^ F. At the head of the valley 
stands Old Faithful, so named for the regularity of its spouting, which 
takes place every fifty minutes, lasting about ten minutes, the water 
reaching the height of 125 to 150 feet. Its crater is conical, and 6 feet 
high. Near it there are four geyser-cones, w^hich are now extinct 
geysers. On the opposite side of the river from Old Faithful are the 
Giantess and Bee Hive, neither of which were seen in operation by us. 

Bunsen's theory of the geyser is the simplest and probably the most ♦ 
correct. It can be verified by experiment, and the facts observed by us 
sustain it. Briefly stated, it is this : The water deposits nothing except 
by evaporation, which takes place rapidly at the edges ; here, then, the 
silica which is held in solution is deposited and builds up the beautiful 
tube and basin of the geyser. Bunsen succeeded in determining the tem- 
perature of the geyser-tube, from top to bottom, a few moments before 
eruption, and found that at no part of the tube was it at the boiling-point. 
How, then, does the eruption take place ? It is always noticed that before 
an eruption the water rises in the tube. The higher we go in the tube 
the lower is the point at which the water boils. Suppose the column 
of water is elevated by the entrance of steam through ducts at the bot- 
tom of the tube. The water, which at a certain point a\ as near the 
boiling-point, is elevated to a part of the tube where the boiling-i)oint 
is lower than the temx)erature it has ; there is therefore an excess of 
heat. This excess of heat is used in generating steam ; the water is 
elevated higher, more steam is formed, and suddenly the water above 
is thrown into the air, mingled with clouds of steam, and we have the 
geyser iu action. The water has to be very near the boiling-point before 
an eruption can take place. 

In the Fire-Hole geysers we noticed that just before an eruption the 



water rose gradually in the basiu, and tbat there were occasional at- 
tempts at eruptions, which Mled, preceding the actual eruption. A 
specimen of the water brought back was as clear as when bottled at the 
geysers, showing no deposit whatever. Tliere was not sufficient for a 
quantitative analysis. It contained 835f f milligrams of solid matter to 
the liter, consisting in the main of silica. Chloride of lime and sulphate 
of magnesia were present in small quantity, and there was also a trace 
of iron present. The glaring white deposit, which extends over both the 
upper and lower basins, is principally geyserite, a variety of opal. The 
forms it assumes here are similar to those found in Iceland. The speci- 
mens vary in color, form, and texture. The majority are of an opaque 
white, or grayish color. In the lower basin some pink specimens were 
obtained which are translucent ; other specimens are of a greenish gray. 
Some of the white pieces were subtranslucent others were pearly and 
enamel-like. Specimens from the geyser-cones have generally a cauli- 
flower-like form, and break very easily ; others are beaded, and still 
others covered with small stalagmitic processes. The texture varies 
from porous to compact, and some pieces are very easily reduced to 
powder. The majority of the deposit which extends through the basins 
is porous, and arranged in layers. The geyser-cones are generally very 
compact, and very often have an enamel-like coating. From some of 
the springs masses were obtained that are filamentous and stalactitic. 
Some pieces seem as though the surface had been enameled and then 
suddenly allowed to contract, leaving small, irregularly shaped plates 
of enamel attached to the main mass by pedicles. In the lower basin 
we found smooth balls, which, on being broken, were found to be co7n- 
posed of concentric layers of geyserite of a homogeneous structure. 
Others, which were beaded or otherwise fantastically fashioned on the 
outside, were found to be very irregular in their structure. The latter 
were generally of a pink color. A specimen of white geyserite, of 
cauliflower-like form, hardness of 5, and specific gravity 1.866, contains — 

Silica 83. 83 

Water 11.02 

Chloride of magnesium 4. 00 

Analyses of geyserite from other parts of the world are as follows : 
White geyserite from Iceland^ (analysis by Damour.J 

98. 85 

Silica . 

8. 97 

100. 20 

Geyserite from Iceland, (analysis hy Forcliliammer.J 






Soda and Potassa 

84. 43 
7. 88 
3. 07 
0. 70 

0. 92 

1. OG 

99. 97 


Geyserite from New Zeland^ ( analysis by Fattison.J 

fPhil. Mag., Ill, XXV, 495.] Specific gravity, 1.968. 

Silica 77.35 

Alumina 9. 70 

Sesquioxide of iron ^ 3. 72 

Lime 1.54 

Water 7. 66 

99. 97 

Geyserite from Neic Zeland, (analysis by Mallet. J 

[Phil. Mag., IV, V. 285.] Specific gravity, 2.031. 

yilica , 94. 20 

Alumina 1. 58 

Sesquioxide of iron 0. 17 

Lime Indication. 

Chloride of sodium 0. 85 

Water 3.06 

99. 86 

On the 6th of August we bade farewell to the Geyser Basin and 
started on our way toward the Yellowstone Lake to rejoin the main 
party. Our way led upward through dense timber, and after traveling 
eight miles we reached the summit of the first ridge of mountains sepa- 
rating us from the lake. The rock at the summit was a porphyritic 
obsidian, containing large crystals of feldspar thickly disseminated 
through it. We now began to descend, and at the foot of the mountain 
passed by Madison Lake, which is about five miles in diameter. It is 
heart-shaped. The sand on its shore is composed of finely-broken-up 
obsidian, intermixed with chips of chalcedony and red jasper. We were 
obliged to go into camp at night without having reached the lake, whose 
shore, however, we reached the following morning, to find ourselves 
about three miles below camp. Our camj) was situated near a large 
collection of hot springs and mud-geysers. The former varied in tem- 
perature from 1150 ¥. to 191^ F., averaging 166 F. j the latter ranged 
from 1320 F. to 190° F., the average being 155Jo F. The temperature 
of the air during observation was about 65° F. The water of the springs 
contained — 






Sulphuric acid. 

Its reaction was neutral. In some of the springs of low temperature there 
was a red gelatinous organic growth. One of the most curious of the 
springs was situated in the midst of the lake, close to the shore. Its basin 
was about 3 feet above the surface of the lake, and was composed of a 
white deposit containing a large percentage of silica, it being of the same 
character as the deposit about the springs on the shore. The water in 
this basin, which had the shape of a truncated cone, had a tempera- 
ture of IGOo F. The mud springs or geysers, for they threw the mud 


out to the height of 3 and 4 feet, were situated in a bed of clay. 
Their contents consisted of a rather thick mud of an extreme degree of 
fineness and of a beautiful pink color. It contained — 

Iron, (abundant,) 
Alumina, (^ibundant,) 

Our party again divided, one portion returning to the permanent 
camp to bring up further supplies, another, to make the survey of the 
lake in the boat, while the remainder of us started on the 9th of August, 
on our way around the lake by land. In the evening, after a ride 
through low, marshy ground, we camped at the head of one of its south- 
ern arms, at the base of a large reddish-colored mountain, which forms 
one of the prominent landmarks, being visible from all parts of the 
lake. The next day we crossed the mountain and i)itched our tents on 
one of the small streams that contributes to form the Snake River. The 
following evening we reached Bridge Creek, or the Upi)er Yellowstone 
Eiver, at the head of the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake. Leaving 
here we proceeded down the eastern shore of the lake, which we found 
to be not so thickly covered with timber as the western side, nor so marshy 
as the southern shores. After leaving the head of the lake, we made 
three camps before leaving it altogether. Back of our first camp, w^hich 
Avas on a rocky bluff, there was a high ridge of igneous origin, com- 
posed mainly of volcanic breccia, in which I obtained good specimens of 
wood-opal. Some of the pieces were inclosed in the center of a mass of 
the breccia, which seemed to have flown over it in a melted condition. 
Some of the specimens obtained were evidently the heart of the wood, 
the center of which contained chalcedony and crystals of quartz in fis- 
sures caused originally by the splitting of the wood. Our second camp 
was in one of the small prairies so numerous on this side of the lake. 
Here we were joined by the supply-train, and by the party in the boat. 
In the lake opposite to us was Promontory Point, a point of land run- 
ning out into the water between the southeast arm and one of the south- 
ern arms of the lake. A piece of rock brought from it contained rhomb- 
spar and crystals of calcite, the matrix being red from the presence of 
iron. Near camp were two high volcanic peaks. Mounts Stevenson and 
Doane. The summit of the former is composed of a light-gray trachyte, 
containing acicular crystals of hornblende. The rock is identical with 
that on Mount Washburne. Between our two camps was the site of an 
old hot-spring basin, now extinct, to which was given the name of Brim- 
stone Basin, from the sulphur which exists in it. The deposit, which is 
mostly of a white color, fills a valley that is about a mile in length, and 
a quarter of a mile in width. It extends up the side of the mountain in 
deep ravines, in some of which there is a strong sulphurous odor, al- 
though the hot springs are all extinct. The water flowing from these 
beds is cold and impregnated with alum, which probably results from 
the water passing through the sulphur and clay beds. It is acid in its 

On the 19th of August we moved our camp farther down the lake to 
Steamy Point. Just before reaching it we passed a small group of hot 
springs and steam jets, which were a few yards from the shore. There 
was about them a deposit of sulphur, iron, and alum. One or two of 
the springs contain chloride of sodium. The average temperatme of 
these springs was 183Jo y.^ the highest being 198^ P., and the lowest 
178^ F. Our camp was situated on a high bluff on the edge of the lake. 


Near us there were two vents, from which the steam, in escaping, made 
a noise exactly like a large steamboat letting off steam. The volume of 
steam was very large, and the discharge constant. There were here also 
some small mud springs. Every night while at this place we experienced 
earthquake-shocks, each lasting from five to twenty seconds. We named 
it Earthquake Camp. A few hundred yards back of us there is a small 
group of mnd-springs, in which the mud was of a i^ure white color. 
About two miles northeast of the lake we discovered a small lake, which 
was named Turbid Lake, from the muddiness of its water. It tasted of 
alum, and there seemed to be numerous springs throughout it, as there 
was a bubbling all over its surface. On its eastern shore there was a 
group of hot springs, mud-springs, and vents. The largest spring was 
situated in the midst of a small stream flowing into the lake, and had a 
temperature of 186° F. On the side of a small hill, at whose base the 
principal mud-springs were situated, there was an abundant deposit of 
sulphur and alum. In some places the mud had become quite compact, 
and upon being broken revealed the presence of sulphur runniug through 
it in veins. Almost all these springs gave off sulphureted hydrogen gas. 
The teinperatures varied from 176^ F. to 192° F. A short distance north 
of this group there were some large mud-springs, one of which was 
white and another black. The latter had a large quantity of sulphur 
in its composition. On the northern shore of the lake there are four or 
five cold springs, containing chloride of sodium. This place is used by 
the deer and elk as a lick. Our horses recognized the i)resence of salt 
at once, and licked the ground with avidity. Nearly all the springs 
near the Yellowstone Lake seem to have passed their most energetic 
stage, and are now on the decline. 

On the 23d of August we left Yellowstone Lake, and, taking a north- 
easterly direction, started on our way toward the East Fork of the Yel- 
lowstone Eiver. The first part of our route was along Pelican Creek, 
one of the tributaries of the lake, which we followed to its source, cross- 
ing the divide between it and the branches of the East Fork, toward 
evening, when we camped at the shore of a beautiful little lake in the 
woods. The valley of Pelican Creek is quite wide, and the stream flows 
through it in a serpentine manner, its waters covered with wild ducks 
and geese. There were a number of springs scattered along its banks, 
the majority of them cold. One, however, had a temperature of 66*^ F. 
There were a few geyser-cones, although as geysers they are probably 
now extinct. We reached the southern branch of the East Fork the fol- 
lowing evening, after a day of hard travel through the dense pine forests 
and up and down steep mountains, and camped, a few miles above the 
juijction of the north and south branches, in a wide open valley. In 
the bed of the stream I obtained good specimens of agate, quartz, and 
chalcedony. Some were in the form of geodes, and contained opal in 
the center. I also obtained black flint, green jasper, and excellent 
pieces of silicified wood, some of which were of a jet-black color, hadng 
veins of blue chalcedony running through it. About three miles from 
our cami), on the north branch of the East Fork was a large mound of 
hot-spring formation, consisting chiefly of calcareous material resem- 
bling very much the formation at Gardiner's Kiver. It is conical, about 
20 feet high, and 25 feet in diameter at its base. It is situated on one 
end of a sort of i>latform, of the same material, which is 75 feet long, 
and rises 15 feet above the surrounding level. It is probably an ex- 
tinct geyser, although now there is no water in it, nor is there any hot 
spring near. There is, however, a cold spring near it, in which the 
water had an acid reaction, tasting strongly of iron alum, of which there 



was quite an abundant deposit about it. It is situated on the bank of a 
small creek, and gives off sulpliureted hydrogen. 

We reached the junction of the two forks of the Yellowstone on the 
25th of August, having made the circuit of Yellowstone Lake, includ- 
ing the geysers also. Near the junction there is a large extent of 
ground strewn Avith huge granitic bowlders. Farther up the East Fork 
of the Yellowstone than we went there is said to be gold, although at 
the present time it is unsafe to mine there, on account of the Indians. I 
was given several specimens of galena and pyrites, said to be from that 
locality, from surface-diggings. We crossed the Yellowstone on the 
first and only bridge over its water, which was built here by one of 
the trappers in anticipation of a rush to the gold-diggings of Clarke's 
Fork. From the junction we followed our old trail, ])ast the White Hot 
Springs, the Devil's Slide, and the Lower Canon, to Botteler's Eanch, 
getting into the x>ermanent camp on the 27th of August. On the oppo- 
site side of the Yellowstone from our camp, there is a high volcanic 
peak, one of a long chain. It bears the name of Emigrant Peak, and 
rises 10,G29 feet above the level of the river. Its summit is composed 
of a very dark, compact basalt, containing a few small crystals of mica. 
Lower down it passes into a lighter variety. In Emigrant Gulch, which 
is at its base, there are granites and chloritic rocks. Specimens of pum- 
ice-stone were found near the head of the gulch. There is some little 
placer-mining for gold carried on in the gulch, though as yet not in a 
systematic manner. 

We left Botteler's on the 29th of August, arriving at Fort Ellis the 
following day. On the way I obtained a specimen of a rhyolitic rock, 
having a very compact, violet-colored matrix, resembling the matrix of 
the felstones. It was enamel-like, and contained crystals of feldspar 
and mica. 

On the 5th of September we left Fort Ellis, starting on our home- 
ward trip. Fording the Gallatin and Madison Eivers, we passed the 
junction of the three forks of the Missouri, and camped near the Jeffer- 
son River. The valley is quite wide, and well cultivated. The only 
rocks observed were limestoue, which continued to the Jefferson. The 
river cuts its way through them, forming a deep cahon, obliging us to 
cross the hills east of the stream. Here we encountered gneissic and 
granitic rocks, upon which rested beds of reddish quartzites. 

On the 8th we again struck the Jefferson, and followed it until we 
reached its commencement in the union of the Big Hole and Beaver 
Head Rivers. The mountains on both sides of the Jefferson are granitic, 
and contain auriferous lodes. On the side opposite that on which we 
were there were a number, two of which are named the Highland and 
the Clipper. One has a depth of 300 feet, and has been worked steadily 
for the last three years. At the base of the mountain there are three 
or four quartz-mills. The formation we passed over was drift, contain- 
ing quartz and granite bowlders. The Beaver Head coming in from 
tbe left, we followed it to its sources. On the 10th we camped at 
Beaver Head Rock. This is a huge mass of limestone, through which the 
river has cut its way, leaving the rock on the left bank standing with an 
almost perpendicular wall facing the stream. From a distance the re- 
semblance to the head of a beaver is very striking, whence its name. 
Near here there is found a good quality of sandstone, which is employed 
in making grindstones. It is of a light-gray color, and of a good quality 
for that purpose. The next day we camped near Black-Tail Deer Creek, 
the rocks we passed having been similar to those of the day before, 
with the exception of red elvanites and felstones, of the same kind that 



we met with on our way to Virginia City in June. They probably ex- 
tend across the country. ] rode up the valley for some distance,^ and 
found the mountains to be limestones, alternating with wliite quartzites, 
for six or seven miles. I also discovered a trap -dike. Near the mouth 
of the valley there is an old hot-spring formation, of which nothing now 
remains save the hard calcareous basins, overgrown with low bushes 
and grass. The basins are on the side of a hill, and when the springs 
were active must have resembled very closely the springs at Gardiner's 
Eiver. There is a small stream of cold water flowing over it. Beaching ^ 
the Beaver Bead Eiver again, I proceeded up the stream, through a 
rather picturesque canon, at whose mouth were towering masses of a 
trachyte porphyry, which was vesicular, having a brown, vitreous matrix, 
containing small, irregular cavities coated with blue chalcedony. This 
rock rests upon white sandstones of loose texture, which are in-obably 
of Tertiary origin. Crossing the river, our road led us close by expo- 
sures of siliceous clay-slates, which were again succeeded by an igneous 
rock of a greenish-black color, and specific gravity oi 2.32, the cavities 
being filled with masses of chalcedony varying from the size of a pin- 
head to two inches in diameter. 

We also met with an old hot-spring formation, probably connected 
with the one mentioned above as occurring in Black-Tail Deer Creek 
Valley. The deposit is calcareous, very hard, and the springs must be 
long extinct. The water, which is cold, flows over it, forming a small 
cascade. I obtained some good specimens of calcareous tufa. We also 
passed some beds of bright-red sandstone conglomerates, or pudding- 
stone, as the pebbles were small. We obtained specimens of a breccia- 
ted rock, which seems to be a friction breccia. The matrix is of a pink 
color, and seems to be volcanic in its nature, while tlie fragments it 
incloses are siliceous, and of a greenish-white color. It probably occurs 
at the margin of the trachytic rocks found in the canon. Our camp on 
the 11th of August was on Horse Plain Creek, in a valley covered in 
spots with quite an abundant deposit of alkali. Leaving here, the rocks 
first encountered were granitoid gneisses, succeeding which w^ere alter- 
nate beds of limestones and quartzites, which continued, with the ex- 
ception of a few igneous outbursts, until we reached the main divide of 
the Rocky Mountains, a distance of about thirty miles. On Sage Creek, 
in the foot-hills, there were beds of light-brown clay-slates, which were 
fossiliferous. We crossed the divide on the 14th of September, over 
reddish quartzites highly metamorphosed, probably, in part at least, by 
contact with an outburst of igneous rock at the same i)lace. We pro- 
ceeded down Medicine Lodge Creek, camping on that stream in the 
evening. We passed by a bed of old hot-spring deposit, resembling a 
stratified limestone. It was about 60 feet in thickness. Kear camp, 
there was an exposure of puri)lish-colored volcanic rock, that I con- 
sider a trachyte, upon which rested a dark basaltic rock. Beneath 
these were wliite sandstones, very fine-grained and splitting into layers 
of an inch in thickness. They are probably Pliocene in their origin. 
Just before reaching the Snake Eiver Valley, we ascended a broad 
plateau of basaltic rock, like that bordering on Snake Eiver. In crev- 
ices in the rock, we found obsidian. We crossed Snake Eiver the second 
time, finding it about 20 feet lower than when we crossed it in June. 
We arrived at Fort Hall on the 19th, and left on the 21st, proceeding up 
Lincoln Valley, between hills of Jurassic limestone. We camped in the 
-evening at Twin Springs, where there are the remains of old hot springs. 
Near us there were two extinct craters, and t4ie whole valley was overflowed ' 
with lava. The following day we reached Bear Eiver, and turning up it 



proceeded but a sLort distance before reaching the famous Soda Springs, 
There are here two settlements, and we spent a day in examining the 
springs. In the bed of the river there are a number from which bub- 
bles of gas are constantly escaping through the water. The first spring 
which we notice is situated on the bank of the river, close to its edge, 
a short distance below the town. It is in the top of a cone, which is of 
a bright-red color, due to the deposit of oxide of iron. There is a large 
amount of carbonic acid gas present in the water, and Its escape is so 
violent that the water is tlirown to the height of one and two feet from 
the basin. It seems as though the water were boiling, so violent is its 
agitation. The temperature, however, is only 85 Jo p. The taste of the 
water is agreeably pungent, and slightly metallic from the presence of 
iron. This is the spring that Fremont named the Steamboat Spring. 
Near it there are two holes, from which slightly warm air and carbonic 
acid gas escape with a hissing noise. On both sides of the river at 
this point there are a number of cones of a rusty-red color, which have 
probably some time in the past been geysers. There is also near here 
a remarkable rock, that might well, from its appearance, be taken for a 
coral. It is of a bright-yellow color, and is composed mainly of car- 
bonate of lime and oxide and carbonate of iron. It is, no doubt, a 
deposit of springs. Some distance farther up the river, in the midst 
of the village, there is another spring meriting attention. It is situated 
on the banks of a small stream flowing into Bear Kiver. It is of the 
same character as the others, and has, if possible, a more agreeable 
taste. The basin of the spring is of a bright-red color. Between the 
l iver and the adjoining hills, which are composed of limestones, there 
are the remains of numerous springs. Of the majority, nothing is left 
but the hard calcareous material and pools of water, about which there 
is a deposit of alkali. Following up one of the small streams, we passed 
two large calcareous mounds, about 10 or 15 feet high, on top of which 
there were some springs, one of which was intermittent, the water 
escaping from it in pulsations. Near this there is a spring that has 
been inclosed and a pavilion erected over it. It is of the same nature 
as others described. The escape of carbonic acid gas is very abundant. 
About three miles farther up the valley we came to a most remark- 
able formation, consisting of the basins of old springs long extinct. 
They are called the petrifying springs by the settlers, from the abund- 
ance of calcareous tufa which exists in the basins. There is very 
little water in the springs now. Some of the basins were 6 feet in 
depth, and contained large masses of plants coated with the cal- 
careous material, which retained perfectly the form of the leaf and stem. 
The whole area, which is about a quarter of a mile in extent, is 
inclosed by a fence. We left Soda Springs on the 25th of September, 
and proceeded up Bear River. We had gone but a short distance 
before we passed an old spring deposit, nothing being left but the hard- 
ened calcareous deposit. Our next camp w^as made at a small town 
named Bennington, the rocks in the hills passed by us during the day 
being limestones and quartzites. At Montpelier, the next town, we 
crossed Bear Eiver, and, passing through the towns of Ovid, Paris, and 
Saint Charles, arrived at Fish Haven, on Bear Eiver Lake. The rocks 
continued of the same character. We were shown specimens of ores 
from lodes, said to exist in the limestones. Among them were speci- 
mens of galena, malachite, and calcite. But little, however, has been 
done in the way of mining, as there is not, as yet, enough capital in the 
valley to make it profitable. Leaving Fish Haven we passed through 
Laketown, Eandolph, and Woodruff, arriving at Evanston, I'tah, on 
13 G S 



the 28th of September. About a mile from the town there is one of the 
largest coal-beds in the West. It is from 22 feet to 32 feet in thickness. 
It crops out on the western side of a hill, composed mainly of sand- 
stones. It dips 10° north of east. There are four slopes being worked 
at present, one by the Wyoming Coal and Mining Comi)any, and three 
by the Eocky Mountain Coal and Iron Company. At the mine of the 

Fig. 64. 

COflL , 

Wyoming Company the main bed of eoal is 22 feet thick, as shown in 
'No. 1 of the accompanying sections in Fig. 04 It is composed as fol- 
lows, from above downward : 

Fire-clay roof. 

Feet. lu. 

Coal 7 

Slate 5 

Good coal 8 3 

Bone coal - 3 

Coal 1 2 

Slate 5 


Feet In. 

Best coal ' 2 9 

Slate 3 

Coal 4 

Bone coal 2 

Good coal 8 

Slate or bed-rock. 

This is the most southern of them all ; and as we go farther north 
the bed becomes thicker. Mr. Wardell is superintendent of the Wyo- 
ming Company, which works, in addition to this mine at Evanston. 
mines at Carbon, Eock Springs, and Almy. Fig. 2 is a section at 
mine No. 1, of the Eocky Mountain Coal and Iron Company. It con- 
sists as follows, from above downward : 


Coal 5 

Clav aud shale 12 

Coal 7 

Clay , 3 

Main bed of coal, with four bands of slate 26 

Shale and clay 8 

Coal 5 

Clay and shale 15 

Iron ore 3 

Clay and shale , 15 

Xos. 2 and 3 are sections at mines Nos. 2 and 3, of the same com- 
pany. They are the same, with the exception of the main body of coal, 
which in ^^o. 2 is 30 feet thick, and at No. 3, 32 feet thick. In No. 3 
the clay above the main body of coal is 2 feet thick instead of 3, and 
that below, 5 instead of 8. Mine No. 1 was commenced in June, 18G9, 
and the main shaft has been carried in a distance of 386 feet. It is 13 
feet wide, and slopes a little more than 1 foot in 4. At a distance of 
150 feet from the entrance is the first level, at right angles to the main 
shaft. It is 15 feet in width. On the north side it has reached a dis- 
tance of 330 feet from the main shaft, and on the south side 450 feet. 
One hundred and fifty feet below this is the second level, which on the 
north side has penetrated 330 feet, aud on the south 400 feet. From 
each level chambers are worked through to the level above, parallel to 
the main shaft. They are 30 feet apart, and the entrance is 12 feet in 
width, which is rapidly widened to 18 feet. Mine No. 2 was opened in 
August, 1869, and has now reached a depth of 520 feet. It slopes about 
1 foot in 4, and is worked on the same plan as No. 1, with this excep- 
tion, that the third level, instead of commencing at the main shaft, does 
so at the end of shafts which branch from the main one at an angle of 
45^. These shafts are, one on each side, 18 feet in width. The first 
level on both sides of the main shaft runs to the outcrop, a distance of 
412 feet in each case. The second level, a distance of 150 feet from the 
first, runs to the outcrop 413 feet on the south side, and on the north 
has been carried 700 feet, and will go 1,000 feet when it reaches the 
line between it and mine No. 3. The third level penetrates 85 feet on 
each side. Mine No. 3 was opened in April, 1871, and has reached a 
depth of 190 feet. The first level only has been commenced, being 50 
feet each side. It will be worked on the same plan as Nos. 1 and 2. 
Each mine has two engines for hoisting the coal. There are two hun- 
dred and fifty men employed, a large number being Chinamen, who live 
in houses erected by the company, near the mine. There is also quite 
a large store at the mine. The company supplies the Central Pacific 
Eailroad, and its branches in California, and the Pacific steamship lines 
with coal. About 350 tons per day are mined, and the company expect to 



increase this. The officers are as follows : D. Colton, of San Francisco, 
president j Fox Diefendorf, of Corinne, vice-president ; H. K. White, of 
San Francisco, secretary j 0. T. Deuel, resident at the mines, superin- 
tendent ; and G. A. Henry, of San Francisco, general agent. The coal is 
a lignite, of a very black color, and having a high luster. It breaks into 
parallelopipeds. It contains from 71 to 73 per cent, of carbon. The 
value of this bed of coal can scarcely be estimated, especially as it is 
situated in a country where timber is so scarce, and even the small 
amount that does exist is so liable to be destroyed by fires in the fall 
of the year, as we observed on our way up Bear Eiver Yalley. The 
iron ore that lies beneath the coal is of a light brownish-gray color, 
being argillaceous. It contains 35 per cent, of oxide of iron, 30 per 
cent, of lime, and 20 per cent, of silica. We left Evanston on the 1st 
of October, and arrived at Fort Bridger the following day, where the 
expedition disbanded. 



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Agate. In pebbles on the shore of Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming 
Territory ; in tlie bed of the south branch of East Fork of Yellow- 
stone Eiver. 

AzuRiTE, (blue carbonate of copper.) Near Virginia City, Madison 
County, Montana Territory. 

BiOTiTE, (black mica.) In granite at the head of Wild Cat Canon, Mon- 
tana Territory. 

Calcite, (carbonate of lime.) Brown spar near Oxford, Idaho Terri- 
tory. Ehomh spar near Copenhagen, Utah Territory; in the valley 
of the Yellowstone Eiver ; in Bear River Valley, back of Saint Charles, 
Utah Territory; at Promontory Point, Yellowstone Lake. Wyom- 
ing Territory. Iceland spar near the Crow Indian Agency, on the 
Yellowstone River, Montana Territory. Crystals of calcite on volcanic 
rock at Gardiner's River, near the White Hot Springs. 

Chalcedony. Rounded pebbles, on the shores of Yellowstone Lake ; 
in geodes with agate, opal, and quartz, on the south branch of the 
East Fork of Yellowstone River ; in chips throughout the vaUey of 
the Yellowstone River; in geodes, with quartz and calcite, near 
Gardiner's River ; at the foot of Mount Washburne ; in cavities, in 
an amygdaloidal trap-rock, on Beaver Head River, Jefferson County, 
Montana Territory. Beautiful blue specimens in jasper, at Red Bluff 
lode, Madison County, Montana Territory. 

Chalcopyrite, (copper pyrites.) Near Virginia City, Montana Terri- 
tory; at Red Bluff lode, with galena, Madison County, Montana 

Coal, (lignite.) Near Fort Ellis, Gallatin County, Montana Territory ; 
at Evanston, Utah Territory. 

Cuprite, (red oxide of copper.) Near Virginia City, Madison County, 
Montana Territory. 

Feldspar. Alhite, with quartz, in Port Neuf Canon, Idaho Territory ; 
in granites near Botteler's, Montana Territory. Lahradorite in gran- 
ites in Wild Cat Caiion, Montana Territory. OrtJioclase in syenites 
at Ogden, Utah Territory ; in granites, through Idaho and Montana 
Territories, Sanidine in phonolite at Pleasant Valley; in trachytes 
in Grand Caiion of the Yellowstone River ; in trachytes about Yel- 
lowstone Lake. 

Flint, (black variety.) On south branch of the East Fork of Yellow- 
stone River. 

Garnets. Below Virginia City in gneissic rocks ; in Alder Gulch, 
near Virginia City ; on the Madison River, about forty miles above 
Virginia City; in hornblende schist in caiion of the Yellowstone 
River, above Botteler's ; in bowlders near the canon of the Jefferson 
River, near the junction of the three forks of the Missouri River. 

Galena, (sulphide of lead.) Argentiferous, near Virginia City, Mon- 
tana Territory ; with copper pyrites at Red Bluff lode. Hot Spring 
district, Madison County, Montana Territory; in the mountains 
along Cache Valley, Utah Territory ; in limestones in the mountains 
in Bear River Valley, Utah Territory. 

Geyserite, (siliceous sinter.) In the geyser-basins of the Fire-Hole 
River. Pink, translucent varieties in the lower basin ; also small 
balls of the same, some smooth, others covered with a rosette-like 
formation ; gray and white varieties, having a cauliflower-like form, 
abundant in both the lower and upper basins ; also massive, compact, 
porous, and pearly varieties in both basins. 



Gold. In placer-mines, Alder Gulch, Madison County, Montana Ter- 
ritory ; in various mines about Virginia City ; in a jaspery ore at 
Eed Bluff lode. Hot Spring district, Madison County, Montana Ter- 
ritory; in Emigrant Gulch, opposite Botteler's Eauch, on Yellow- 
stone Eiver, Montana Territory; in mountains along the Jefferson 
Eiver, Jefferson County, Montana Territory. 

Halite, (common sait). In cold springs on Turbid Lake, near Yellow- 
stone Lake ; in springs near Evanston, Utah ; in springs in Idaho. 

Hauynite. In phouolite, in Pleasant Valley, Idaho Territory. 

HOKNBLENDE. In syeuitcs at Ogden, Utah Territory ; in hornblende 
schists below Virginia City, Montana Territory ; in gneissic rocks on 
the Madison Eiver above Virginia City ; in gneissic rocks in the 
canon of the Yellowstone Eiver above Botteler's ; in acicular crys- 
tals in trachyte on the summit of Mount Washburne, near the Great 
Ealls of the Yellowstone ; in the same form in trachytic rocks on top 
of Mount Stevenson, near Yellowstone Lake; in a red volcanic rock 
with calcite at Promontory Point, Yellowstone Lake. 

Jasper. Eed variety associated with blue chalcedony and opal at Eed 
Bluff* lode, Montana Territory ; green variety on south branch of the 
East Fork of Yellowstone Eiver. 

Leucite. In volcanic rocks near Yellowstone Lake. 

Malachite, (green carbonate of copper.) Wild Cat Canon, Montana 
Territory; near Virginia City, Montana Territory; with chalcedony 
near Mount Washburne. 

Minium, (red oxide of lead.) Near Virginia City, Montana Territory. 

Nephelite, (var. sommite.) In phonolite at Pleasant Valley, Idaho 

Opal. Wood-opal at the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake ; beauti- 
ful black and white specimens from Jefferson County, Montana Ter- 
ritory. Semi-opal in center of quartz geodes on the south branch of 
the East Fork of Yellowstone Eiver. Dendritic at Eed Bluff' lode. Hot 
Spring district, Madison County, Montana Territory. Geyserite in 
the geyser-basins of Fire-Hole Eiver. 

Obsidian, (volcanic glass.) In chips along the Port Neuf Eiver, in vol- 
canic rock ; in the valley of the Yellowstone Eiver in chips ; in vol- 
canic rocks in the Grand Canon of the Yellowstone; massive in the 
mountain ridge between Yellowstone Lake and the Fire-Hole Eiver; 
porx)hyritic near Madison Lake. 

Pumice. Emigrant Gulch opposite Botteler's; near Yellowstone 

Quartz. In granites throughout the Eocky Mountains; in geodes, 
with chalcedony, near Gardiner's Eiver ; in geodes on south branch 
of East Fork of Yellowstone Eiver; crystals near Virginia City, Mon- 
tana Territory. 

Serpentine, (compact resinous.) In Alder Gulch, near Virginia City, 

Montana Territory. 
Silicified Wood. At Tower Creek at the foot of Tower Falls ; near 

Wliite Hot Springs at Gardiner's Eiver ; on the southeast shore of 

Yellowstone Lake. Handsome black specimens, with veins of blue 

chalcedony, on the south branch of the East Fork of Yellowstone 

Eiver, in Jefferson County, Montana Territory. 
Silver. Native and as chloride, in various mines about Virginia City ; 

near Oxford, Idaho Territory ; in galena, throughout Utah, Idaho, 

and Montana Territories. 
Spherulite. At the Grand Canon of the Yellowstone Eiver ; at the 

southern end of Yellowstone Lake. 



SuLriiUR. At AVliite Hot Springs on Gardiner's Eivcr ; at Tower 
Creek, in a ravine near liot springs; at foot of Mount Waslibnrne ; 
at Crater Hills in beautiful crystals lining the crust or deposit; on 
tlie East Fork of Madison Kiver in old, extinct, hot- spring basins ; at 
Turbid Lake near hot springs; near Evanston, Utah Territory. 

Tufa, (calcareous.) At Soda Springs, on Bear Elver, Utah Territory, 
in huge masses, retaining perfectly the shape of the plants incrusted; 
in Beaver Head Canon, Jefferson County, Montana. 


. There vrevG G27 specimens, iuclndiDg duplicates, collected duriug the summer, com- 
meuciug at Ogdeu and euding- at Fort Bridger. 



Dark -red ferruginous sandstone 

Ixcddish syenite 

■JJ ctamorpliic siliceous conglomerate. . . 


TVhite quartzite 

Liglit-jiray cherty limestone 

Dark -bluish cberty limestone 

Siliceous clay-slate 

Dark-blue mountain limestone 

Oolitic limestone 

Gray siliceous limestone 

Greenstone , 

Amygdaloidal melapliyre 

Greenstone '. 

Chlorite schist 

Dark-red quartzite 

Ferruginous quartzite 

White sandstone, (Pliocene) . . 

White sandstone, (Pliocene, dendritic). 

Light-brown quartzite 

White limestone 

Siliceous mica schist 

Purple quartz sandstone 

Coarse-gTained ferruginous sandstone.. 

Dark -blue limestone 

Ferruginous siliceous slate 

Red quartzite 

Dark-gray quartz schist 

Arkose. or feldspathic sandstone 

White quartzite 

Quartz porphyry 

(3-rcenstone . .' 

Chlorite schist 

Greenish-g-ray quartz schist 

White quartz schist 

Red quartzite 

Wliite friable sandstone, (Tertiary) 

Vesicular basalt ' 

Compact basalt 

Fine-grained red sandstone 

Jurassic limestone, (gray) 

Slate-colored trachyte 

Red quartzite, (highly metamorj^hosed) 

Vesicular basalt 

Compact basalt, (with white crust) 


Slaty porj^hyritic phonolite 

Compact poiphyritic phonolite 

White cavernous trachyte 

Pink sandstone 

White quartzite 

Pink and white sandstone 

AVhite sandstone 

Red sandstone 

Light-brown limestone 

Bluish-gray sandstone, (Pliocene) 

Gray dendritic sandstone, (Pliocene). . . 

.Bluish-white sandstone, (Pliocene) 

Old hot spring deposit 

Wliite argillaceous sandstone 

Yellow argillaceous sandstone 


Ogden Canon, Ogden, Utah Territory. 

Dry Lake Valley, Utah TeiTitory. 
Cache Valley, Utah Territory. 

Bear River, Utah Territory. 
Near Clifton. 

Between Clifton and Oxford. 
Above Oxford. 
Red Rock Pass. 

Marsh Creek Valley, Idaho Territory. 

Port Xeuf Canon, Idaho Territory. 

Port Ncuf River, Idaho Territory. 

ISTear Fort Hall, Idaho Territory. 

Eagle Rock, Snake River, Idaho Territory. 

Cave at Hole in the Rock, Idaho Territory. 
Mouth of Beaver Head Canon, Idaho Ter. 
Pleasant Valley, Idaho Territory. 
Xear the Divide of Rocky Mountains, Idaho 

Mount Garfield, Montana Territory. 






Little Sage Creek Valley, Montana Territory. 

Wild Cat Caiion, Montana Territory. 


Catalogue of rocA;8— Continued. 




Purple felstone or petroailex 

Gray felstone or petrosilex 

YeUow felstone or petrosilex 

Red felstone or petrosilex 

Eed elvanite or quartz porphyry 

Gray elvanite or quartz porphyry 

Pink elvanite or quartz porphyry 

Eofl felstone or petrosilex 

Yellow felstone or petrosilex 

Flesh-colored felstone or petrosilex 

Gray felstone or petrosilex 

Chlorite schist 

Light-gray sandstone, (Pliocene) .' 

Greenish sandstone conglomerate 


Blue felstone or petrosilex 

Argillaceous sandstone 

Yeilowish-gray felstone or petrosilex 

Gray sandstone 

Blue felstone or petrosilex 

Gray quartz porphyry or elvanite 

Pink felstone or petrosilex 

Gray elvanite or quartz porphyry 

Jasper porphyry 

Striped or slaty porphyry 

Chlorite schist 

Garnetiferous hornhlende schist 

White quartz , 

Old hot spring deposit 

Igneous rock basalt 

Igneous rock, (red) 

Light-red coarse sandstone 

Dark-brown ferruginous sandstone 

Garnetiferous gneiss 


Compact red sandstone 

Volcanic conglomerate 

Yellow qnartzite 

Coarse brown sandstone 


Albite granite 

Pinkish trachyte, with hornblende 

Violet-colored" rhy elite, with mica 



Chlorite schist 


Eed sandstone 


Eed volcanic breccia 

Hornblende schist, (garnetiferous) , 

Gray gneiss 

Green porphyritic trachyte 

Gray porphyritic trachyte 

DarK-green porphyritic trachyte 

Siliceous clay-slate 

White quartzite 

Gray quartzite 

Gray sandstone 

Eed limestone 

Yellow limestone 


Basalt coated with calcite 

Gray rhy elite 

Light yellowish-gray trachyte 

Dark-gray rhy elite 

Old hot sjiring deposit 

Greenish-gray rhyolite 

Yellow rhyolite 

Blue rhyolite 

Chalcedony, with malachite 

White trachyte 

White and red trachyte 

Bluish trachyte infiltrated with sulphur 

Dark perlite-like trachyte 

White trachyte : 

Gray rhyolite ^.'....r.'i'i'; 

Wild Cat Canon, Montana Territory. 

Devil's Pathway, Montana Territory. 

Below Virginia City, Montana Territory. 

Above Virginia City, Montana Territory. 

Madison Eiver, above Virginia City. 

Mystic Lake, near Fort EUis, Montana Ter. 

Spring Caiion, near Fort Ellis, Montana Ter. 
Above Spring Canon, near Fort Ellis, Mon- 
tana Territory. 
Near Botteler'a, on Yellowstone Eiver. 



Emigrant Gulch. Montana Territory. 

Emigrant Peak, Montana Territory. 


Above Botteler's, on Yellowstone River. 
Canon of Yellowstone, above Botteler's. 

Do. < 
Devil's Slide, Cinnabar Mountain. 


Do. • 


Above Cinnabar Mountain. 
Gardiner's Eiver. 

On mountain, near Hot Springs, Gardiner's 

Hot Springs, at Gardiner's Eiver. 
On mountain, near Hot Springs, Gardiner's 
Tower Creek. 

Foot of Mount Washbume. 

Grand Caijion of the Yellowstone Elver. 






Catalogue of rocks — Continued. 




Obsidian, with spherulite 

Pink trachyte 

Porphyritic obsidian 

Volcanic conglomerate 

Old hot-spring deposit 


"White trachyte Infa 

Ar<jillaceous sandstone 

Eea volcanic pudding-stone 


Porphyritic obsidian 



Porphyritic obsidian 


Trachyte, with hornblende and calcite. . 

Volcanic breccia 

Old hot-spring deposit 

Gray trachyte, intiltratod with sulphur. 

White trachyte 

Eed trachyte 

Bluish trachyte 

Greenish trachyte 

Gray trachyte, with hornblende 




Porphyritic obsidian 

Red and black basaltic rock 

Hot-spring deposit 

Silicitied wood 

Red rhyolitic rock 

Volcanic breccia 

Volcanic conglomerate 


Hot-spring deposit 

"White and red variegated sandstone. 

"White trachyte 

Green trachyte 

Hot-spring deposit 

Yellowish trachyte 

Hot-spring deposit 


Volcanic conglomerate 

Basalt, (black) 

Basalt, (red) 

Basaltic rocks, (black) 


Brown coarse sandstone 

Blue clay-slate 


Greenish-gray sandstone 

Siliceous clay-slate 

Dendritic sandstone 



Hornblende schist 



"White quartz 

Red compact sandstone 

Yellow calcareous sandstone. 

Dark-blue limestone 

Garnetiferous gneiss 

Mica schist ,.. 



"White quartzite 


Old hot-spring deposit 


Red sandstone 




Coarse gray sandstone 

Dark-purpiish rhyolite 

Light-bluish rhyolite 


Grand Canon of the Yellowstone River. 

Crater Hills, Yellowstone River. 

Mud-volcanoes, Yellowstone River. 

East Fork of Madison River. 
Near Madison Lake. 
"West side of Yellowstone Lake. 
Southern shore of Yellowstone Lake. 



Promontory Point, Yellowstone Lake. 
Southeast shore of Yellowstone Lake. 
Brimstone Basin, east side Yellowstone Lake. 






Top of Mount Stevenson, east side of Yellow- 
stone Lake. 

Top of Mount Doane, east side of Yellowstone 

East shore of Yellowstone Lake. 

Northeast shore of Yellowstone Lake. 

Turbid Lake, near Yellowstone Lake. 

Pelican Creek. 

South branch of East Fork of Yellowstone 
, Do. 

Near Crow Indian agency, Yellowstone River. 

Near Eort Ellis, Montana Territory. 

East side Gallatin River, Montana Territory. 




Between Jefferson and Madison Rivers. 

"West side of Jefferson River. 

Black-Tail, Deer Creek Valley, Montana Ter, 

Beaver Head Rock, Montana Territory. 

Beaver Head Caiion, Montana Territory. 



Catalogue of rocks — Continued. 


"White sandstone, (Pliocene) 

Clay-slate, (siliceous) 

Coarse red sandstone 



Trap-rock, with chalcedony 

Old hot-spring deposit. . 

"White hrecciated volcanic rock 

lied brecciated volcanic rock 

Hornhlendic gneiss 


Quartzite, (highly metamorphosed) 

Purplish trachyte 

Gray trachyte 

White sandstone 

Old hot-spring deposit 



Old hot-spring deposit, (yellow) 

Old hot-spring deposit, (white) 

Old hot-spring deposit, (red) 



"White qnartzite 

Red quartzite 

Greenish quartzite 


Yellowish sandstone 

Gray sandstone 

Yellow sandstone . ^ 

Eed sandstone 

"White sandstone 



Beaver Head Caiion, Montana Territory. 

Horse Plain Creek, Montana Territory. 

Main Divide of Eocky Mountains. 
Medicine Lodge Creek, Idaho Territory. 






Soda Snrings, Bear River, Utah Territory. 

Back of Bennington, Utah Territory. 

Swan Creek, Utah Territory. 
Near Evanston, Utah Territory. 



Between Evanston and Fort Bridger. 


Fort Bridger. 










Washington, D. C, February 1, 1872. 

Dear Sir : Herewith I present a report of my investigations of the 
agricultural resources of the Territories during the past season. 

I accompanied the exploring party from Ogden, in Utah, to Virginia 
City, Montana. As it was evident the party would visit no arable areas 
of importance while investigating the interesting region around Yellow- 
stone Lake, it was thought best that I should visit other i)arts of Mon- 
tana Territory. In accordance with this opinion, I separated from the 
main party at Virginia City and proceeded to Helena. Here I was for- 
tunate in finding a number of well-informed persons from all parts of 
the Territory, through whom I gained a large amount of information in 
regard to the agricultural resources of the sections I was unable to visit 
in person. From this point I crossed over the dividing range of the 
Eocky Mountains to the head-waters of the Columbia. I take pleasure 
in stating that my investigations have developed the fact that this 
interesting Territory possesses a much larger area of arable land than 1 
had anticipated. It is true that the agricultural lands are separated 
into comparatively small areas ; but this character has its advantage, 
as it secures an ample supply of water for irrigating purposes. I failed 
to obtain any satisfactory account of the extreme eastern part of the 
Territory, especially that part lying east of Fort Benton. That it con 
sists of broad, level, treeless plains is well known, but the supply of 
water and means of irrigation appear to have been overlooked by those 
who have visited this section. As the Northern Pacific Eailroad is to 
pass through here at some point, it is important that this should be 
ascertained, especially as the descent of the Missouri below Fort Benton 
appears to be too small to give any promise of a supply of v»^ater for 
irrigation from it by the ordinary methods. It is therefore important 
that further data should be obtained on this point. 

The climate of this Territory is much more favorable for agriculture 
than would be anticipated from its northern and elevated position. 
Indian corn, of a tolerably good quality, is grown on each side of the 
range without any serious climatic difficulty. Even melons and fruits 
are matured in some of the valleys. Some have attempted to account 
for this by the supposition of atmosi^heric currents from the Pacific 
Ocean, &c. ; but the real reason is apparent when we examine the barom- 
eter. The Bitter-Eoot Valley, between the Eocky and Bitter-Eoot Mount- 
ains, is fully 1,200 feet lower than the level of Salt Lake; and there are 
no broad, open plains of that extent sufficient to give play to the sweep- 
ing storm that often visits other sections. 

The valleys and hill-sides are generally covered with rich and nutri- 
tious grasses, afibrding excellent i^asturage for stock. The northwestern 
portion has a large area covered with extensive and valuable forests 
of pine, fir, and other coniferous trees. I was surprised to find the 
passes across the main range so easy and smooth ; at one of them. Deer 
Lodge Pass, the water being actually taken by a canal from the Atlan- 
tic to the Pacific side. 

I found the citizens everywhere deeply interested in these investiga- 


tioils, and always readj^ to assist me in every possible way, and to tliem 
I am indebted for much of the information contained in my report on 
that Territory. And I am glad to say that so far as I was able to test 
this information by personal observations, I found it generally quite 
correct, their great desire being not to exaggerate, but simply to get tile 
facts in regard to their section of country before the world. I would be 
glad to mention the names of those who took special pains to assist me, 
but as I cannot mention all I hesitate to mention any, but I cannot 
refrain from naming Governor Potts, Colonel Wheeler, marshal of the 
district, Colonel Sanders, the editors of the pai)ers of Helena and Deer 
Lodge, Major Forbes, Mr. Granville Stuart, and others, some of whom 
are mentioned in my report. 

From Montana I returned to Corinne, in Utah, with Professor Allen, 
who had joined me at Helena. From Corinne I proceeded to California, 
in order to see what progress had been made here in the method of irri- 
gating lands. I desired especially to learn what was being done in the 
way of lifting water. A visit to the suburbs of Sacramento, Oakland, 
and San Francisco soon gave me all the information on the subject that 
"was to be obtained, as no statistics in regard to this important horti- 
cultural agency appear to have been collected. The wind-mill appears 
to be nearly the only power used for the purpose of lifting water, and 
as the quantity raised by each is small it is apparent that these cannot 
be profitably used for field crops, especially where they comi^ete with 
the products of rain-moistened regions. But as auxiliaries to horticul- 
ture they are valuable, wherever the water is to be found in quantity at 
a short distance from the surface 5 and there are probably many points in 
the Territories into which your survey has extended w^here they could 
be used with profit. 1 ai)pend a short account of San Jose Yalley, fur- 
nished by Professor Allen, as it contains some very interesting matter. 
Although California is justly celebrated for its fruits, wheat, &c., yet I 
was quite disappointed at the appearance of the agricultural districts 
visited, though this was owing in part to the very dry season *, but I am 
convinced that the agricultural resources of this great State will never 
be properly developed until a more thorough system of irrigation is 
adopted. Although the annual rain-fall is considerable, yet it is not 
distributed through the growing season in such a manner as to do away 
with the necessity for irrigation. 

I was surprised to learn no hard wood fit for wheelwright purposes, 
and agricultural and other machinery, was to be found on the Pacific 
coast. Visiting the wagon and other shops in« San Francisco where 
hard w^ood is used, to ascertain where they procured it, I was surprised 
to learn that this is brought from the Atlantic States. I subsequent!}^ 
found the same fact mentioned in the report of the president of the 
State board of agriculture of California for 1868-^69. I had ascertained 
this was the fact in regard to the Territories of the Eocky Mountain 
region, but was not aware before that it was the case in regard to the 
Pacific coast. It may perhaps, without exaggeration, be said that 
proper timber for a wagon cannot be found in the United States west 
of the one hundredth meridian. As this places the States and Territo- 
ries of the Pacific slope under considerable disadvantage in this respect, 
it seems to me that the General Government ought to take some steps 
to remedy the defect as far as possible. Hard wood will grow in these 
sections, as is evident from the experiments made, but it will probably 
be valueless for the purposes mentioned unless freely watered by irriga- 
tion. Would it not be well to establish in California an experimental 
farm and garden under the Agricultural Department? The conditions 



of climate, soil, humidity, &c., in that entire region are so different 
from that of the Atlantic coast, that experiments in the latter section 
have no applicability to the former. The one is oriental, the other occi- 
dental, although reversed in position. 

As I have, in a former report, given a short account of the arable 
areas of Utah, I have devoted a part of the present to the consideration 
ol' the physical features of tbe Salt Lake Basin, so far as these have 
any bearing upon the agricultural resources of this very interesting 
region. I have added a more minute account of that portion of North- 
ern Utah over which the expedition passed the present season, and which 
I visited in person. I have prefixed a general outline or review of the 
geographical features of those portions of the Eocky Mountain regions 
which have been visited by the exploring party under your charge 
during the past three years. It would have been more systematic to 
have placed this at the end, but I preferred the other plan, as many 
persons desire to know the conclusions reached without having to read 
the details. 

You will find, accompanying this report, a continuation of my investi- 
gations of the western Ortlioptera. A number of new species — some 
twenty-eight or thirty — were obtained, and have been described, among 
them some of considerable interest, adding two genera hitherto un- 
known to the insect fauna of the United States. 

I feel it to be a duty to report to you in a special manner the accom- 
modations received from the various stage-lines running from Bozeman 
and Virginia City to Helena; thence to Deer Lodge; and thence to 
Corinne. Over all these Professor Allen and myself were passed with- 
out charge, and treated with great respect and kindness by all the offi- 
cers and employes, To the Central Pacific, Union Pacific, Denver Pa- 
cific, and Kansas Pacific Railroads we are under many obligations for 
passes for one or both of us over these roads ; and also to the officers 
and employes for the many acts of accommodation extended to us, by 
w^hich delay was i)revented. I have appended a short report of some of 
the valleys of Nevada, drawn up by Mr. D. H. Harkey, of Reno, pro- 
cured for me b}' the kindness of Mr. Meecham and his partner, of Hum- 
boldt, Nevada. It is to be hoped that by another year a more complete 
account of this intermontane State will be obtained. I believe that Mr. 
Harke^^ is now at work upon this subject, which will i)robably be fur- 
nished you when completed. 

I had expected a short account of the lands along the Union Pacific 
Railroad in the western part of Nebraska, as there is much inquiry in 
regard to these various sections. 

It is an interesting fact that those sections of the West which have ' 
been described in your reports have received, during the past year, the 
greater portion of the emigration that crossed the plains. While this 
has, no doubt, been owing to a number of causes, yet we are justified in 
believing that your efforts and investigations have helped to bring about 
this result, and that in this fact you have an evidence of the apprecia- 
tion of your labors. 

I take pleasure in returning my thanks to all those i)ersons whahave 
so kindly assisted me in my work, and though the names of but few 
have been mentioned, I feel myself under equal obligations to those 
whose names are not mentioned. 

I remain, yours, very respectfully, 


Professor F. Y. Hayden. 
14 G s 



The geographical features of a country are so intimately connected 
with its agricultural resources, that an inquiry into the latter necessarily 
involves an examination of the former. The size and character of its 
mountains and valleys, extent of its plains, and size and number of its 
rivers and lakes, are all items which must be considered if we would 
make our investigations complete. So far as I have noticed these in 
describing the separate sections, I will not repeat them further than to 
generalize these more minute descriptions. And it is proper for me to 
state here that I shall confine this review almost wholly to those Terri- 
tories and regions visited in person ; not that each locality alluded to 
has been examined personally, but that I have visited the section and 
learned from personal observation its leading external features. 

The boundaries of the political divisions, and even the outlines of the 
more important natural areas, can so easily be determined from the maps, • 
that I shall omit allusion to them, except where I may have occasion to 
do so for the purpose of explanation. 


Passing over the broad plains which spread out westward from the 
Missouri River, the first objects to attract our attention are the mount- 
ains. We enter upon our western journey with a desire to see them, 
and the long monotonous ride across this broad expanse, even though 
sweeping along at railroad speed, intensifies that desire. And when we 
first catch a glimpse of some lofty peak or range, especially if it has a 
crown of snow upon its summit, glittering in the bright sunshine of that 
limpid atmosphere, all other objects for the time are forgotten. No matter 
whether we are enthusiastic admireis of nature's works or not, the sim- 
ple fact that we are gazing upon the snowy summit of the great Rocky 
Mountain Range has in it a charm that, for the first time, at least, ar- 
rests the attention even of the giddy youth and suffering invalid. This 
first impression fixes itself so indelibly upon the mind that no matter 
how often we may visit this region, how various our duties may be, and 
how intensely we are devoted to them, yet after we have returned, often 
as our minds revert to that section, the mountains will stand in the fore- 
ground. Nor is this strange, for they constitute the leading and promi- 
nent geographical feature of the great VV^est. Aside from their exceed- 
ingly important geological and mineralogical characters, which Professor 
Hayden and other geologists are presenting to the public, they also ex- 
hibit external features which have important bearings upon that depart- 
ment which has been assigned to me for investigation, and this is more 
especially true in this section of the country where the rain precipitation 
is so small and irrigation so universally necessary. From these comes 
the supply of water for irrigation ; these are the great reservoirs upon 
which the hopes of the agriculturist depend. As the heat of summer 
approaches and the rays of the sun pour down upon his fields, he watches 
day by day with anxious eyes the rapidly melting patches of snow that 
lie upon the crest of the neighboring mountain; for, unless his ditches 
are fed by one of the larger perennial streams, he knows that upon the 
rivulets which flow from those crystal banks depend the life of his crop 



and the supply of food for himself and family. He is well aware that 
soon after they have disappeared, the little rills will cease to flow, his 
ditches become dry, and his crops, unless previously matured, become 
parclied and withered under the influence of the sun and this remark- 
ably dry atmosphere. Hence the snows of winter, when heavy in the 
mountains, instead of being looked upon as misfortunes, are hailed as 
the sure harbingers of a plenteous harvest the following seasons. I 
have more than once heard the remark made by those who have long 
resided in that country, " It would be better for us if we had more snow 
and I am inclined to think the statement true. A hasty trip across the 
great mountain belt on one line will doubtless give to the casual ob- 
server the impression that there is a general sameness throughout. 
The broken crests and peaks of the eastern range and rugged forest- 
crowned Sierra will doubtless be contrasted with the broad inter- 
vening waste of ridges, valleys, and plains, but will scarcely do away 
with the impression of monotonous uniformity. But a closer study of 
these vast monuments of nature's building will show us new forms, va- 
rying features, and different characters at every step. 

Instead of being arranged in continuous ridges, as was for a long 
time supposed, this immense belt is broken and irregular, at one point 
grouping its loftiest peaks and ridges in a comi3act mass, while at 
another isolated ranges have wide wastes lying between them. The 
water divide between the Atlantic and Pacific slopes, in some i)laces 
being the crest of the loftiest ridge, running a tortuous course, winding 
right and left, yet with a general northwest and southeast direction, at 
other points it is an undefinable line on a broad and apparently level 
artemisia plain. 

The mountain region reaches from the eastern slope that descends to 
the great plains to the Sierra Nevada ; but the true Rocky Mountain 
belt, although vast in its proportions, is much more limited, extending, 
in the latitude of Colorado and Southern Wyoming, from the eastern 
flank to the Wahsatch Range, a distance, direct, of some three hundred 
and fifty miles. Here, in the western half of Colorado, eastern part of 
Utah, and southern border of Wyoming, is the heaviest mountain mass 
in the Union. Extending east and west from one hundred and fifth to 
one hundred and twelfth meridians, and north and south from the 
thirty-seventh to the forty-first parallels, it covers a quadrangular area 
of nearly one hundred thousand square miles. Within these bounds are 
collected a large number of the highest peaks and ridges of the entire 
Rocky Mountain belt. It is split into two i>arts by the valley of Green 
River, which traverses the entire area from north to south near the one 
hundred and tenth meridian, the eastern moiety containing the heaviest 

From the southern boundary of Wyoming to the southern boundary 
of Colorado, the eastern range, which lies principally between the one 
hundred and fifth and one hundred and seventh meridians, is exceed- 
ingly rugged, broken up into sharp peaks and tortuous ridges. On the 
eastern slope it is composed of an irregular series of ridges, leaning one 
against the other in ascending order toward the west; these at a few 
points separating, so as to leave large depressed areas, as the parks, 
Upper Arkansas Valley, &c. This form, connected with the great eleviv 
tion of this entire mountain area, has a very important bearing upon 
the agricultural resources of the plains and valleys at the eastern base, 
as it affords immense reservoirs for the accumulation of winter snows, 
from which the streams can draw a suj^ply of water. Hence, most of the 
streams which take their rise in this range are perennial, affording iin 


abundance of water for a broad strip of land along the eastern flank 
of the range. Not only are they rugged in general outline, but also in 
mmute detail, being exceedingly rocky and jagged, except in some of 
the parks and larger depressions, where the local drift has rounded the 
lower hills. As a general thing, they are covered with heavy forests of 
pine and fir, except where the altitude exceeds the line of arborescent 
vegetation. I would call special attention here to this fact, as I wish 
to allude to it hereafter — the connection between the rugged, rocky sur- 
face and forest growth. In the parks and other spots where there are 
heavy deposits of drift, evidently brought down from the surrounding 
heights, as a general thing there are no forests, occasional groves of 
stunted cedars or pihons being the chief exceptions. 

Along the east base, after passing Box Elder Creek, going south, 
long straight-lined foot-hills are often to be seen shooting out from the 
mountain side, their tops flat and almost or quite level. They are gen- 
erally very smooth, without forest growth, but grassed over as evenly 
as a mown meadow. These singular formations constitute a very re- 
markable feature of this section, and give a peculiar charm to the land- 
scape. An occasional "mesa'' or squarely truncated hill can be seen 
here, but these are more characteristic of the country farther south. 

As we approach the borders of New Mexico the mountains gradually 
diminish in height, the mass separating into more regularly continuous 
ranges ; the naked crests of the higher ridges often sharply serrated. 
The sides, though rocky and deeply and sharply furrowed, are hardly 
so rugged as farther north. As might be inferred from these character- 
istics, the accumulations of snow are less extensive, the water more 
rapidly carried ofl', and the streams less permanent than in the vicinity 
of the mountains farther north in Colorado. 

The Eaton Mountains, which run east from the main range, near the 
dividing line between the two Territories, form a rather singular excep- 
tion to the general direction of the eastern ranges. In their external 
features they are much like the mountains with which they connect in 
some respects, while in others they remind us more of some of the 
mountains in Southeastern Kentucky. They are tolerably well timbered, 
much of it being of a very fine quality. They give rise to the Purga- 
tory and Cimarron Rivers. 

Passing over this range to the south side, one of the most striking 
features of the landscape is the large number of isolated ''mesas.'' 
These singular elevations, in the form of truncated cones or pyramids, 
with flat and horizontal tops and sharp outlines, rise up from the level 
plains, or from the surface of a broad valley, and almost invariably 
without any lateral connection with any other elevated ground. In ex- 
tent they are widely diff'erent, some i^resenting a table surface of but a 
few acres, while others have nearly as many square miles. It is evident 
that these are beyond the reach of irrigation, from any natural reser- 
voirs or streams, their only value being as grazing fields. 

This eastern mountain group appears to have two culminating points 
or radiating centers ; the northern, and principal one, lies immediately 
around the North and Middle Parks, and forms the rim of these elevated 
basins ; the other lies immediately southwest of South Park. In the 
first of these, Blue Eiver, White Eiver, Bear Eiver,* North Platte, and 
a number of the tributaries of South Platte, take their rise. In the 
other, Grand Eiver, the Eio Grande, Arkansas, and main branch of the 
South Platte have their sources. The parks act as huge cisterns for the 

* This is not the Bear River of Salt Lake Basin, but connects with Green River. 



reception of the luimerous little mountain rivulets that flow down from 
the surrounding rim, collecting them together and discharging them at 
one outlet. Thus the North Park collects the various streams which 
form the North Platte ; the Middle Park, those that form Blue Eiver ; 
South Park, those to form the South Platte ; the San Luis Park, those 
to form the Rio Grande ; and the Upper Arkansas Valley, which is a 
true park, those to form the Arkansas River. Here, then, we see that 
five of the great rivers of this vast central region have their sources 
close together in this mountain area. Upon the peaks, ranges, parks, 
and forests embraced between the one hundred and fifth and one hun- 
dred and seventh meridians and thirty-eighth and forty-first parallels, 
an area not exceeding eighteen thousand square miles, depend, in a 
great measure, the agricultural resources of an area of more than one 
hundred thousand square miles. 

Before passing over to the west side of the section under consideration, 
I would call attention to the Black Hills, (or Laramie Range,) of Wyo- 
ming, which seems to be the real northern extension of the Colorado 
Range, but the continuity is somewhat broken at the gorge of the Cache- 
a-la-Poudre, and it takes the form of a huge appendage, like tke claw 
of a crab. Circling round the eastern and northern portions of the great 
Laramie Park, it acts as a bracing wall to this vast elevated plain, 
whose surface is fully 1,500 feet above the plains at the eastern base. 
Its external, or eastern slope, presenting a much longer descent than its 
inner or western face, differs considerably in character from the latter ; 
w^hile the latter, at least as far north as the gorge of the Laramie River, 
presents comparatively smooth and rounded surfaces, theformer is rugged, 
and, especially along the northern jy^rt, deeply gashed by rough and rocky 
canons. The intervening ridges are quite rugged up in the mountain 
near their origin, but as they descend to the plain they gradually lose 
their rough character, and grow smoother and rounder, and, seen trans- 
versely, present a succession of rounded foot-hills, which appear like the 
waves of the sea. The eastern flank and summit are tolerably well 
wooded, and the northern portion appears to have a timber growth i)retty 
generally distributed over it, but interrupted by numerous open, field- 
like spaces. Numerous small streams that form tributaries to the North 
Platte have their origin on the eastern slope, while on the west but one 
or two have their sources in this range. 

Between the eastern and western portions of this mountain group 
intervenes a broad but irregular depression, forming the Green River 
basin. The broad, elevated plain, formerly called the Colorado Desert, 
which stretches north and south from the Wind River Range to the Uintah 
Mountains, and east and west from the Wahsatch Range to the imper- 
ceptible divide, separating it from Laramie Plains, forms the upper por- 
tion. Having a gentle southern slope, and inclination to a central 
channel, it collects the waters, which once evidently formed an immense 
lake, against the mountain barrier at the south margin, of which an 
account will be found in Professor Hayden^s report for 1870. Having, 
in the geological past, burst through this barrier, a tortuous channel 
has been formed for the waters, by which they connect with the Colo- 
rado River and its vast water system farther south, receiving large 
contributions from right and left in its passage. 

Shooting out from the Wahsatch Range on the west, the Uintah Mount- 
ains stretch directly eastward, forming the southern wall to the upper 
portion of this basin, forcing Green River, in making its exit from the 
northern i^laius, to bend eastward in order to flank them. " This range, 
which has a direction the reverse of the general course of the mountains 



of this region, possesses features peculiar to itself. Although risiug 
at points, as will be seen from Professor Hay den's report, to a height 
of 12,000 and even 13,500 feet above the level of the sea, shooting up 
sharp and lofty peaks above the limit of arborescent vegetation, yet 
it possesses, to a greater or less degree, that i>eculiar evidence of the 
remarkable effects of erosion seen in the lower ridges in this section. 
But the description of this interesting region by Professor Hayden is 
so full that it is unnecessary for me to add more than that here is 
found a heavy forest growth of excellent pine timber, which on account 
of its proximity to the Union Pacific Railroad will probably, at no very 
distant day, prove a source of wealth to this region. 

Passing a little farther westward, we encountered the great Wahsatch 
Eange, which, stretching north and south for four hundred miles, forms 
the vast terrace above the Great Salt Lake Basin. To understand the 
relation that this range bears to the eastern range running through 
Colorado and Wyoming, we must bear in mind the fact that from Salt 
Lake to Cheyenne there is one great mountain which has been lifted in 
the air an average height of 7,000 feet above the level of the sea, and 
between 2,000 and 3,000 feet above the mass of debris piled against its 
flanks. Its broad summit formed of the plains, hills, ridges, and peaks 
which intervene, these ranges are its flanking walls, forming the eastern 
and western escarpments. The Wahsatch Eange, though rugged and 
rocky, does not, at least on its western slope, possess the jagged char- 
acter to such a high degree as the Colorado Mountains, but, on the con- 
trary, is sharply indented and furrowed, much like the Sierra Blanco 
Mountains which surround San Luis Park on the northeast. The west- 
ern slope, especially from Ogden to the south end of Utah Lake, instead 
of sloping down regularly to the surface of the basin, seems to plunge 
down through the debris which presses against it as the clifl' plunges 
down into the waters of the ocean which lave its side. There is here 
but one culminating point, which acts as the radiating center for the 
water systems of the region. This is at the place where the Uintah 
Mountains connect with the Wahsatch Range, almost immediately at the 
southwest angle of Wyoming Territory, but situated in Utah. Here 
White, Uintah, Bear, Weber, and Provo Rivers have their origin, the first 
two connecting with Green River and the others entering the Salt Lake 
Basin at different points. 

Moving northward across the broad, open space occupied by the Green 
River Plains and Laramie Plains, the one lying on the Atlantic and the 
other on the Pacific slope, connected by an imperceptible divide, we en- 
counter another striking feature, varying the apparent monotony of 
this mountain region. I say ''apparent monotony," for, in reality, the 
scenery is constantly changing at every step to the ardent student of 
nature. Stretching east and west from the north end of the Black 
Hills of Wyoming to the south end of the Wind River Range is a series 
of remarkable granite hills skirting the valley of the Sweetwater. These 
have much the appearance of the sharp peaks and crests of a submerged 
range, which, shooting up through the sea of sand, mark its course. 
So striking is this appearance that even the most casual observers 
almost involuntarily make the comparison. 

From this point northward the range (by this I intend the entire belt) 
contracts and changes its direction. From the thirty-seventh to the forty- 
third parallels its course is almost directly north, and extending in width 
from the one hundred and fifth to the one hundred and twelfth meridians, 
an air-line distance of about three hundred and fifty miles. Here it bends 
northwest, making an angle with its former course of some twenty or 



twenty-five degrees, and, the eastern flank diverging a little more rap- 
idly tiian the western flank, the two approach, narrowing the width of 
the belt toward the north. While this is true as a general statement, 
it must not be supposed that in attempting to follow it out in detail 
we shall find any great uniformity, for we shall proceed but a compara- 
tively short distance up the western flank nntil we encounter the rugged 
Salmon River Mountains, pressing against the belt at its narrowest 
l)oint like a huge goiter upon the neck. But the most interesting group 
within this part of the belt is to be found in the northwestern part of 
Wyoming, which has been the objective j^oint of the present year's expe- 
dition, and of which a very full and deeply interesting account will be 
found in Professor Hayden's report of the present year, and to which 
this report forms an appendage. I shall, therefore, refer to it only so 
far as its features bear upon the agricultural resources of the surround- 
ing regions ; and, moreover, although passing closely around the west- 
ern and northwestern flanks, and crossing the axial range at its western 
exit, I did not in person visit the magnificent scenery immediately sur- 
rounding Yellowstone Lake, which lies near the central point of the 

The northern limb of the Wahsatch Eange, separating the waters of 
Green Eiver from those of Bear and Snake Eivers, penetrates northward 
near the western border of Wyoming Territory. Wind Eiver Eange, 
stretching northwest from South Pass, rising in altitude as it advances 
until it culminates in Fremont's Peak, forms the divide here between 
the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific, represented by Green and Wind 
Eivers. The west branch of the Big Horn Mountains, reaching across 
the Wind Eiver Valley, leaving a deep gorge for the passage of this 
stream, directs its course toward the same central point; and the main 
Eocky Mountain Eange from the north here bends its course eastward 
to connect with the others at the great point of union. In other words, 
here is the culminating point of the great northwestern mountain belt, 
from which radiate not only its chief mountain ranges, but also, as a 
natural consequence, the principal streams of the section. The Big 
Horn, Yellowstone, Madison, Green, and Snake Eivers all have their 
origin here, the first three finding an outlet for their waters through 
the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, the next through the Colorado 
of the West to the Gulf of California, and the last through the Columbia 
to the Pacific Ocean, three thousand miles from the exit of the first. 
Here, amid a collection of the most wonderful scenery on the continent, 
is found the chief radiating point of the water-systems of the Northwest, 
being equaled in this respect only by the mountain groui:) of Colorado 
Territory. A result naturally to be expected from this formation fol- 
lows, viz, an abundant supply of never-failing streams. It is also inter- 
esting, on account of the influence it has upon the course of the minor 
streams, to notice the obstinate tendency of the minor ranges to main- 
tain the north and south direction so common in Territories south and 
in the Salt Lake Basin. The Teton Eange, between Henry's Fork and 
the main branch of Snake Eiver, the northern arm of the Wahsatch, 
the main range of the Big Horn Mountains, between the waters of 
Big Horn and Powder Eivers, and even the ridge separating the two 
branches of the latter stream, though varying much in character, all 
have this course almost direct. If we pass north of the group into the 
southern part of Montana, we find this holds good with respect to the 
ridges which separate the tributaries of the Upper Missouri. The 
divides between Stinking Water and the Madison, between Madison 
and Gallatin, and between Gallatin and the Yellowstone, all preserve 


tlie same north and soutli direction, notwithstanding the remarkable 
and enormous flexure of the great dividing range of the Rocky Moun- 
tains. Nor does this stop here; for if we cross the divide again and 
enter the basin of Clark's Fork of the Columbia, w^e find the same 
thing there ou a reduced scale, the ridges which separate the southern 
tributaries of the Hell Gate, with no considerable exception, following 
the same rule. 

In consequence of this general direction of the minor ranges and 
ridges, the smaller streams have generally a north or south course, 
while the larger streams, to which they form tributaries, with one chief 
exception. Green River, run eastward or westward. For example : Pow- 
der, Tongue, and Big Horn Rivers ; Yellowstone and Missouri, above 
their bends ; Clark's Fork of Yellowstone, Gallatin, Madison, Stinking 
Water, and Beaverhead Rivers, on the Atlantic slope; and Deer Lodge 
River, Flint and Stony Creeks, and Bitter-Root River, ou the Pacific 
slope, all run north ; while Green River, the upper i)art of Snake River, 
and Henry's Fork run almost directly south. I might add to this list, 
but these are sufficient to show that there is some great law which gov- 
erns their direction, or that there is a remarkable uniformity. 

The direction and character of the mountains in the northwest part 
of Montana are hereafter alluded to, and it is therefore unnecessary to 
state them here. 

I have not visited the Salmon River Mountains, and therefore have 
no very correct idea as to their character, but understand that they are 
quite rugged and irregular. They give rise to but one important stream, 
the Salmon River. And I may add here that an inspection of the best 
maps of this but little known section shows that here the same tendency 
of the minor ranges to maintain the north and south direction prevails, 
in consequence of which the upper portion of the river, and a number 
of its tributaries, run north ; and Snake River, for two hundred miles of 
its passage through this latitude, has the same direction. 

This is but an imperfect sketch of the mountain character of this 
great elevated region, which, in many respects, presents more of the 
oriental than of the occidental features. If we could stand at the extreme 
southern end, and, looking north, take in at one view the entire reach 
from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, it would, between the 
thirty-seventh and forty-fourth parallels of latitude, present the following 
outlines : From the Missouri west, for four hundred miles,* we should 
see an inclined plane graduallj^ ascending from 900 feet at its eastern 
limit, to 5,000, above the sea near its western extremity; slightly 
curving upward, making the ascent a little more rapid in this part. 
Here we would see a rugged wall shooting from 3,000 to 5,000 feet 
higher, while west of it, for three hundred and fift\^ miles farther, 
would be seen an irregular surface, slightly depressed in the middle, 
but having a general level of 2,000 feet above the inclined i^lain east. 
At the western border we should observe another rugged wall rising 
one or two thousand feet, and descending, on its west flank, 2,000 feet 
below the surface east of it. West from here we would observe the line 
preserving this level for some distance, then curving upward somewhat 
rapidly, until it reached an elevation of 6,500 feet above the sea, would 
gradually descend a little below the line, immediately west of the last 
wall. Here we should see another wall rising up to a height of 8,000 
feet above the sea, from which the line, at first curving rapidly down- 
ward, would descend to the level of the Pacific Ocean. 

* I limit these distances to direct measurement. 




As I have repeatedly stated, and as is well known, the chief divide of 
the waters is the main ridge of the Rocky Mountains, running generally 
a northwest and southeast course, separating the waters of the Atlantic 
from those of the Pacific, consequently giving two general slopes, one 
to the east, the other to the west, modified by lateral ranges, mount- 
ains, &c. I have already alluded to the north and south course of the 
minor ranges as modifying the influence of the general slope, crossing, 
at right angles, the natural direction of the water coming down from 
the chief divide, turning the minor streams north and south. But there 
is also another very important modifying feature, which has much to 
do with giving form to the water-basins and the general course of their 
water drainage. This is a great transverse divide, which, though not 
so prominent and perceptible as the great longitudinal one, is equally 
potent, so far as acting as a dividing water-shed is concerned. 

Starting near the northwest corner of Nebraska, it runs westward to 
the northwest corner of Nevada, making a sharp bend northward along 
the west boundary of Wyoming, around the ui)i)er arm of the Green 
Eiver Basin. 

By examining a good map, the influence of this almost imperceptible 
divide upon the water systems of this region will be seen at once from the 
direction the principal streams flow to reach their respective reservoirs. 
By crossing the Eocky Mountains somewhat at right angles, it forms four 
great basins, the one sloping to the northeast, the waters of which are 
drained by the Upper Missouri, the one to the northwest being drained 
by the Columbia, the one to the southeast being drained by the Platte, 
the one to the southwest being double, the Great Salt Lake Basin and 
the Green River Valley. 

The waters of the northeast and southeast basins reach the Missis- 
sippi through the same charfnel, the Missouri. The plains at the base 
of the mountains in Montana having a much less elevation than those 
lying along the east base of the range in Wyoming and Colorado, and 
the distance the waters of the former have to traverse to reach the junc- 
tion of the two being much greater than that of the latter, it follows 
that the descent of the former is much less rapid than that of the latter. 
Hence, we find that while the Plattes have a descent on the plains of 
from five or six to eight feet to the mile, that of the Missouri east of 
Fort Benton is only about two feet to the mile. Therefore, while it will 
be possible, by extensive canals, to utilize the waters of the former 
streams in irrigating the plains which border them, the same thing 
would seem to be impossible in regard to the waters of the Missouri, or 
its chief tributary, the Yellowstone. Possibly something may hereafter 
be done in the way of raising water by machinery, but this can be made 
remunerative only at certain points, and to a very limited extent. Hus- 
banding the water during freshets, when a higher level is reached, may 
also be practicable, to a limited extent : but I know too little in regard 
to the rises in this stream to express any opinion on this point. 

Lewis's Fork'of the Columbia, (Snake River,) which, in the southern 
part of Idaho, traverses an extensive plain, has a descent of certainly 
not less than six or eight feet to the mile ; and as the bordering lands are 
low and comparatively level, there is no apparent reason why its waters 
may not be utilized to their full extent in irrigating this plain. 

How far the waters of these streams may be rendered useful as a 
means of transportation, I cannot say. That the Plattes and Snake 
River, as they now are, are not navigable, is quite certain j but I see no 



reason wby a system of canals may not be constructed which would not 
only afford water for Irrigation, but also a means of transportation, un- 
less it be that it would not be remunerative. At present, such projects 
are impracticable, the population of that section not requiring them, 
and the slow movements of this mode of transportion are not adapted 
to present requirements. But the day may, and probably will, come 
when a canal from the upper waters of the North or South Platte, or of 
the Arkansas, to the Missouri or Mississippi, will justify the transpor- 
tation of minerals and products of the Eocky Mountain regions, which 
would otherwise be valueless. It is possible a difficulty would be ex- 
perienced on account of the porosity of the soil, but so far as tried for 
irrigating ditches no difficulty, so far as I am aware, has been experi- 
enced in this respect; but these, it is true, have a much greater descent 
than could be given to a canal intended for transportation. But in sum- 
ming up the resources of this portion of the country, these should not 
be overlooked because they would not at present be remunerative. 


We may state, as a general fact to which there are but few exceptions, 
that west of the one hundredth meridian there is no other useful timber 
than pine and fir until after we have crossed the Sierra Nevada Eange, 
and if for the California side we add the celebrated redwood, we em- 
brace nearly all the important timber in the western part of the United 
States. While the Territories and Pacific States have many advan- 
tages of which they may with propriety boast, it is useless and unwise to 
shut our eyes to the fact that the general scarcity of timber is a serious 
drawback. West of the one hundredth meridian the timbered laud 
cannot be fairly estimated at more than one-twentieth of the whole area. 
This is the estimate given for California by C. F. Eeed, esq., president 
of the State board of agriculture, and is as high an estimate as can 
fairly be made for the entire western section of the Union. And if we 
exclude from the calculation Oregon, Washington Territory, the north- 
ern parts of Idaho and Montana, even this would be too high. As a 
matter of course, if we look at the mountain region of California and 
Northwestern Wyoming, the Uintah and Colorado Mountain groups, 
Northwestern Montana, Oregon, and Washington Territory, this esti- 
mate will appear to do injustice to the country. But when we take into 
consideration the broad, treeless plains stretching eastward from the 
base of the main range, the naked hills, valleys, mesas, and jjlains of 
New Mexico, Arizona, and Western Utah, the barren i)lain of Green 
Eiver, treeless expanse of the Laramie Plains, the smooth and rounded 
hills and slopes of Southern Idaho and Southern Montana, and com- 
j)are their extent with the narrow, timbered strips that skirt their streams 
and occasionally flank the elevated ridges, we will be apt to think the 
estimate rather too high. But for fear I may be accused of doing in- 
justice to this country in these remarks and others I desire to make on 
this subject, I will quote the very appropriate and timely lemarks of 
C. F. Eeed, esq., president of the California State board of agri- 
culture, published in the Transactions of the California State Agricul- 
tural Society for 18G8-'69 : 

We have frequently called the attention of our agriculturists to this 

-jject, (tree and forest culture,) and have at different times urged 
action in its behalf by the legislature. No more important subject can 
be named for legislative encouragement or for energetic action on the 
part of the people. We are all interested in whatever affects the com- 


forts of individuals and the prosperity of the country. The subject of a 
plentiful supply of lumber and wood for the various purposes of life is 
one that we cannot much longer neglect. Whoever takes the trouble 
to look this subject fully in the face, and reflects upon the future of 
California, must feel, as we do, that something should be done, and that 
immediately, looking to the substitution of new forests in the place 
of the old ones in our State, now so rapidly being consumed and 
destroyed. A full discussion of this subject cannot be entered into in 
the short space allowed in a mere report, where so many subjects of 
interest claim attention. But we propose to notice some focts and 
make some suggestions, which may lead to further investigation and, 
we hope, to energetic action. 

" We have become so accustomed to speak of the forests of our State, 
of our ' big trees,' as the grandest and most majestic in the world ; 
we hear so much of the vast quantities of timber and lumber being 
shipped from those forests, to supply the nations of the earth with 
masts and other heavy timbers for ship-building and other purposes, 
that we have thoughtlessly come to regard our supply of these mate- 
rials and of materials for fuel as practically inexhaustible. The facts 
are quite diflerent. Although the forests we have a^e properly a sub- 
ject of State pride, they are as properly a subject of State protection. 
California is far from being a well- timbered country. Nearly all the 
timber of any value for ship and general building i)urposes, or for lum- 
ber for general use, is embraced within small portions of the Coast 
Kange or the Sierra Nevada districts. Eedwood, the most valuable tim- 
ber in the State, and probably in the world — taking all its qualities into 
consideration — is principally confined to the counties of Mendocino, 
Sonoma, and Santa Cruz. Monterey, Santa Clara, and San Mateo con- 
tain but small tracts each covered with this valuable timber. Hum- 
boldt, Trinity, Klamath, and Del Norte embrace nearly all the balance 
of the timber of value in the Coast Eange. It mostly consists of an 
Inferior or hybrid redwood, spruce, and pine. The lumber district of 
the Sierra Nevada is principally embraced in the counties of El Dorado, 
Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Plumas, and Siskiyou. Calaveras, Tuolumne, 
and Mariposa contain only scattering clusters of valuable timber, 
though some of the largest and finest trees in the world are found 
within their borders. The timber of this district is mostly different 
varieties of pine, spruce, and cedar. The other mountain-counties of the 
State afford very little timber of any account for building purj^oses or 
for lumber. The agricultural counties, as a general thing, have only 
narrow strips of timber along the water-courses, consisting mostly of 
scrub-oak, cotton-wood, sycamore and willow, of but little general value 
except for fire-wood. The surface of our best timbered counties is not, in 
general, half covered with valuable timber. It is therefore safe to esti- 
mate that not over one-twentieth of the surface of the State is covered 
with forests containing trees valuable for timber or lumber. 

It is now but about twenty years since the consumi^tion of timber and 
lumber commenced in California, and yet we have the opinion of good 
judges, the best lumber-dealers in the State, that at least one-third of 
all of our accessible timber of value is already consumed and destroyed. 
If we were to continue the consumption and destruction at the same 
rate in the future as in the past, it would require only forty years there- 
fore to exhaust our entire present supply. This, in itself, seems like a 
startling proposition, but let us look a little further, and we shall find 
truths and considerations more startling still. In the twenty years to 
come we will probably more than double our population, but let us as- 


sume that we will only double it. As a general rule, in a new country 
the consumption of timber increases in about double the ratio of popu- 
lation. Thus while the increase of population of the United States from 
1850 to 1860 was 35.59 per cent., the increase of the consumption of 
lumber was G3.09 per cent. Upon this basis and rule, the whole availa- 
ble lumber of our State will be consumed and destroyed in twenty years 
instead of forty. We must also take into consideration in this connec- 
tion the fact that we are now just entering upon an era of active public 
Improvements, all requiring the use of heavy timber and lumber. The 
building of railroads, bridges, warehouses, wharves, factories, bulk- 
heads, and the timbering of mines, will probably consume ten times as 
much lumber within the next twenty years as has been consumed for 
these purposes in the past twenty years. The building and equipping 
of railroads may be considered a new and special element in the in- 
creased consumption of lumber, as this business in our State has really 
but just commenced. One of the worst features of the settlement of 
new countries by Americans is the useless and criminal destruction of 
timber. In our State this reckless and improvident habit has been in- 
dulged in to an unprecedented extent. Thousands upon thousands of 
the noblest and most valuable of our forest-trees in the Sierra Nevada 
districts have been destroyed, without scarcely an object or purpose, 
certainly with no adequate benefit to the destroyer or any one else. 
This practice cannot be condemned in too severe terms ; it cannot be 
punished with too severe penalties. 

" South of California, on the Pacific coast, there is but very little tim- 
ber or wood of any description. The Pacific South American States 
are, in fact, dependent on us, and the coast States north of us, for nearly 
all their lumber. They have been drawing heavily from these sources 
to rebuild their wharves and public works destroyed by the earthquakes 
of 1868. On the north, Oregon, British possessions, and Alaska are 
generally well timbered. We have, for the past five years, been obtain- 
ing large quantities of lumber from these countries, and now that the 
Central Pacific Eailroad has advanced the freight on lumber from our 
own mountains fifty per cent, over former prices, our trade in this direc- 
tion will still increase. 

While these countries contain a large supply of very excellent tim- 
ber, this supply is by no means exhaustless. At this time almost the 
whole world is drawing its supply of heavy timber from the Northern 
Pacific coast. England, France, Australia, China, Japan, South Amer- 
ica, Mexico, and Sandwich Islands are all, more or less, engaged in 
securing their wants for ship-building and other heavy works from these 
valuable forests. With the heavy drafts on these countries, added to 
their home consumption, it is not probable that the sujDx^ly will hold out 
much longer than that of our own State. 

" In the above statements and estimates, we have only taken into 
account such timber as is fitted for building and for lumber for general 
purposes. As to hard wood, tit for wheelwright purposes and agricul- 
tural and other machinery, we may say there is none of it on this coast. 
We have always either imi)orted the machinery or the material to make 
it of from the Atlantic States. For ornamental work we have a limited 
supply, the California laurel being very superior. 

"After what has been said above, we hardly need to comment on the 
scarcity of timber in the State for the general purposes of fuel. Taking 
all the agricultural counties in the State together, including the cities 
and towns within them, and considering the probable increase of popu- 
lation, it is very doubtful whether, under present management, they 



-will be able to supply their own demands for fuel for ten years to come. 
While it will -pay, in case of necessity, to freight lumber and heavy 
timber great distances by land, and to ship it by water half-way round 
the globe, it becomes very burdensome and oppressive to all classes of 
the community to be compelled to convey wood for domestic and man- 
ufacturing purposes comparatively but small distances. To illustrate 
this proposition we need only to mention the fact that while there is 
within an area of twenty miles from either of the cities, Marysville, 
Stockton, or Sacramento, a plenty of wood for a year or two's supply, 
and it costs but $2 a cord to have it cut, yet the present price of wood 
in each of these cities is about $10 a cord. Even at this high price 
the owner of wood-land thirty miles from Sacramento, on the line of the 
Central Pacific Eailroad, can make that wood net him only one dollar and 
a half a cord delivered in the city. These facts show how extremely ex- 
pensive and oppressive it would be to undertake to supply the cities of 
the State with wood from the distant mountains. And yet what other 
resource will be left a very few years hence ? California should at no 
distant day become one of the greatest manufacturing States of the 
Union ; but where will we obtain the fuel with which to generate the 
steam that i)ropels the machinery? Again, a new element of calcula- 
tion on this subject has just been introduced among us and will grow 
rapidly in the future. We refer to the consumption of fuel by the rail- 
roads. There are now in the State, completed and in operation, about 
seven hundred miles of road. In a year from now it is safe to say there 
will be over a thousand ; call it one thousand even. It requires one cord 
and three-fourths of wood, with an ordinary train, to drive an engine 
twenty-five miles. Now, assuming that an average of ten trains a day 
will then be running over this oiie thousand miles of road for three hun- 
dred and twenty days in the year, and we have a distance of three mil- 
lion two hundred thousand miles traveled in a year. As each twenty- 
five miles of distance traveled will consume one cord and three-fourths 
of wood, the consumption on one thousand miles of road will be 224,000 
cords per year. In twenty years we will probably have four thousand 
• miles of road completed, averaging twenty instead of ten trains per day, 
and consuming 1,792,000 cords of wood i)er annum. This, added to the 
increased consumption for all the other purposes of life, will make rapid 
inroads into the few sparsely wooded portions of our State, if there 
should indeed be any trees left standing at that time. 

"The first effect of a scarcity of lumber and wood will be to enhance 
the cost. We have already noticed tbe high price of wood delivered in 
our cities. Lumber has not advanced very much in value for the last 
ten years except indirectly. The cost of cutting, manufacturing, and get- 
ting to market has been decreasing, while the cost to the consumer has 
remained the same. It is the opinion of dealers that it will soon increase 
in value very materially. It cannot be otherwise, as we have shown that 
the demand will increase rapidly and the supply decrease. Even now the 
cost and scarcity of these articles is having an oppressive effect on every 
industry in the State. The expense of agricultural implements and tools 
here, over their cost in the Eastern States, is already operating as a seri- 
ous drawback upon the thrift and profit of our farmers, brought in close 
competition, as they now are, with their neighbors of the western Athm- 
tic States. The cost of lumber for building and fencing, in most of our 
agricultural districts, obtained, as it is, at a distance of hundreds of 
miles away, is even now so great that our farmers are among the poor- 
est housed people of any agricultural community in the Union where the 
country has been settled an equal length of time. Their crops and stock 


are but poorly sheltered, if at all, and their farms are worse than poorly 
fenced. To the expense of lumber more than to any other cause must 
be attributed the general dilapidated appearance of our agricultural dis- 
tricts. Efforts to improvement in these respects lead to a forced system 
of farming; too frequent cropping and little or no nursing of the land; 
to thai sameness of production which we have had cause so severely to 
condemn. The cost of lumber and of wood is already discouraging every 
mechanical, every manufacturing, and every commercial industry of the 
State ; for the use of these articles is in some way an important ele- 
ment in them all. The advancement of all our towns and cities in 
building and improvement is being now retarded very much, directly 
and indirectly, by the cost of these necessary articles of life. The cost 
of houses enhances the price of rent. The price of rent and cost of 
wood add materially to the general expenses of living, and these in turn 
enhance the price of labor of every kind, and consequently decrease the 
production and retard the general prosperity and improvement of the 
cities and country. If this be the case now when we are so young and 
our population so thin, when the demand for these articles is increased 
twenty-fold and the supply decreased in the same ratio, who can depict 
the condition of our State ? 

We have estimated that not over one-twentieth part of the surface 
of our State is now covered with heavy timber, and we believe we are 
within the bounds of truth when we state that not over one-eighth of 
the entire surface is covered with trees of any description whatever. It 
is the opinion of the best judges, founded on historical facts and a long 
series of observations and experiments, that at least one- third of the 
surface of any country should be forests; that this relation between 
forest and cultivated land will secure the most advantageous conditions 
of climate, and the greatest amount of productions for the sustenance 
of human and animal life. Fire has undoubtedly been the original and 
active cause of so great a proportion of prairie or untimbered land 
within our borders. Being once destroyed, the consequent climatic con- 
dition of the country has prevented a reproduction of the original forests. 
Nature now, unassisted by man, can never effect that reproduction, 
without some great physical revolution that will change the whole fea- 
tures of the country. That the nakedness of the earth's surface is the 
cause of the extreme wet and dry seasons in our State, and particularly 
of the destructive floods to which the valleys are subject, cannot for a 
moment be doubted by any one at all acquainted with the laws of nature, 
and the agencj^ of those laws in the production and modification of 
climate through the forests of a country. For want of space we cannot 
enter into a full discussion of this important branch of this subject, but 
will state a historical fact in the language of one of the best authors who 
has ever written on this subject. Han. G. P. Marsh, speaking of the 
effect of the destruction of forests upon the different countries of the 
earth, says : * There are parts of Asia Minor, of Northern Africa, of 
Greece, and even of Alpine Europe, where the operation of causes, set 
in action by man, has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost 
as complete as that of the moon. The destructive changes occasioned 
by the agency of man upon the flanks of the Alps, the Appenines, the 
Pyrenees, and other mountain regions in Central and Southern Europe, 
and the progress of physical deterioration, have become so rapid that, in 
some localities, a single generation has witnessed the beginning and the 
end of the melancholy revolution.' Words could not more truthfully 
describe the effects produced by similar causes in some portions of our 
own State. Mr. Marsh continues : ^ It is certain that a desolation like 



that wliicli lias overwhelmed many once beantifiil and fertile regions of 
Europe awaits an important part of the territory of the United States 
unless prompt measures are taken to check the action of the destructive 
causes already in operation.' This last remark applies with greater 
force to a large share of our own State than many of us are aware of. 

"In many countries where rains are of frequent occurrence during the 
summer season, keeping the surface of the soil moist, vegetation, how- 
ever delicate and tender, once started in the spring of the year, con- 
tinues to grow until checked by the succeeding autumn or winter. By 
this time the roots have obtained such a hold on the ground as to secure 
continued life, unless destroyed by artificial causes. Not so in our State. 
The dry season here follows so rapidly after the wet and germinating 
period," that, without irrigation or cultivation, tender and delicate plants, 
like young trees of all kinds, grown from seed lying on the surface, as 
they fall from the parent trees, are almost always dried up and destroyed 
before they are four months old. Hence it is that a section of country 
once stripped of trees and shrubbery, in our State, always remains naked. 
Once a prairie, always a prairie, until art comes to the assistance of 
nature. Hence it is that wheresoever our forests have been cut down 
and cleared away, allowing the rays of the sun to fall directly on the 
soil, so few young trees, or tree^ of the ' second growth,' are to be 

This quotation contains some remarkable statements and admissions 
by one who is a citizen of the section described ; but the statements are 
true, and the warnings therein given are for the best interests of his 
State, and should be well pondered, not only by the legislators of Cali- 
fornia, but also by our national statesmen. 

Strike out the local names from this quotation, and almost every 
statement in it will apply with equal force to the entire Eocky Mountain 
region. So far as I have seen this section, the distribution of the forests 
is similar to that of California; they are isolated, found upon the higher 
mountain groups and ranges, and surrounded by broad, timborless 
spaces. As is well known to all who have any knowledge of the West, 
the plains which lie along the east flank of the great range, stretching 
eastward toward the Mississippi, are almost entirely treeless, the nar- 
row fringes skirting a few of the streams not being of sufficient import- 
ance to lie taken into consideration. This belt, which varies in width 
from two to four hundred miles, extends from the British possessions on 
the north to Mexico on the south, a distance of over twelve hundred 
miles, and includes an area of about four hundred thousand square 
miles. The lumber for every house built upon this broad space must be 
transported from one side or the other; so with every railroad-tie, tim- 
ber for fencing, and for all the purposes where timber or lumber of any 
kind is required, unless it is cultivated and grown in artificial groves 
and forests. 

New Mexico also presents a very large treeless area. Around the 
sources of the Pecos, along the eastern and southern rim of San Luis 
Valley, on the Mimbres and Guadalupe Mountains, and in the north- 
western part of the Territory are found the principal forests affording 
valuable timber, while the rest of its area is generallj^ without forests 
or trees of any value except for fuel. Fortunately, the forests are gen- 
erally in the vicinity of the narrow agricultural areas, and in some 
instances the trees are large and fine, making good lumber; but most 
of the older towns and villages have to procure their lumber and fuel at 
a considerable distance. 

Colorado is a comparatively new Territory, and its mountains afford 



a large forest area, but even here it is somewhat difficult to obtain it. 
transportation for a considerable distance being necessary to supply the 
demands of the agricultural population. And the rapid consumption 
for building, railroads, mining, and other purposes is rapidly sweeping 
away the more accessible portions of the mountain forests. And here, 
as in other parts of the mountain region; fire is playing sad havoc with 
the arborescent covering of the mountain side. 

The principal timbered sections of Wyoming are those along the 
southern boundary of the Territor^^, and in the extreme northwestern 
corner; large tracts of country, even within the mountain districts, as 
Laramie Plains, the Green Eiver Plains, and Sweet Water Country, being 
almost entirely timberless. Utah has no important forests, except those 
found along the higher portions of the Wahsatch Eange, the entire Salt 
Lake Basin furnishing few spots covered with forests of any value for 
timber or lumber. The northwest part of Montana contains a consider- 
able £trea covered with valuable forests, which will aftbrd excellent lum- 
ber, but which can be made available only to a limited district until 
penetrated by railroads, by which it may be transported to those sections 
which do not possess it. 

But to say the best we can in this respect, a population of this part of 
the West equal to that in California will, at the present rate of destruc- 
tion, soon strip the accessible forests of their valuable timber. And 
unless some method of preventing the present wanton destruction can 
be adopted, the supj)ly will be cut off much sooner than anticipated ; for, 
as stated in the quotation made, this destruction increases in a much 
larger ratio than the increase of population. And not only is this true 
if we limit our calculations to that which is applied to some useful pur- 
poses, but the destruction by fires, and that which is without any equiv- 
alent benefit, also increases in the same rapid proportion. In traveling 
through the mountain districts I was surprised at the large number of 
burned streaks which I observed. In some places we would not travel 
more than a mile or two without seeing either to the right or left a 
blackened belt stretching up the mountain side. If these spots would 
again be covered by a new growth the result would not be so disastrous; 
but as has been truly stated in the quotation, this is not the case, for 
when once the forest covering is destroyed, it is never restored, but 
remains forever bare. Whether this be wholly due to the climatic con- 
ditions or not, I do not know, but there are some reasons to believe that 
even where undisturbed by the hand of man the forests are gradually 
disappearing under the influences of natural causes. 

The smooth and rounded hills in parts of Wyoming, Utah, Southeast 
Idaho, Southern Montana, and other parts of the Rocky Mountain region, 
have occasionally here and there a few trees which have every appear- 
ance of being the remnants of former forests. These hills bear unmis- 
takable evidence of having been worn down by the action of the atmos- 
phere, water, ice, snow, &c. The debris which has been worn down has 
covered up the former ruggedness of their declivities. This is so appar- 
ent that in many places its course can be traced down the sides along 
the graceful curves to its termination in the valley. But where the 
original rugged declivity has resisted this action there almost invariably 
forests will be seen. I have, therefore, come to the conclusion that the 
forests of the Rocky Mountains, as a general thing, are decreasing from 
natural causes, and I base my conclusions on the following grounds: 

First. The wearing down of the mountains and hills ; the debris, as 
it descends destroying the forests on their sides. At Pleasant Valley, 
(where the stage-road from Corinne to Helena crosses the range,) in 



tbe basaltic canon, this action even now appears to be in process, many 
of tbe blocks of stone having recently been loosened and rolled down- 
\vard, carrying with them the pines, which may yet be seen. Here every 
stage of the process can be distinctly seen. 

Secondly. In many places, as at the last-mentioned point, at the head 
of Black-Tail Deer (Jreek, along the head-waters of Sweet Water, the 
largest trees appear to be dying without any apparent cause, no evi- 
dence of lire being visible. 

Thirdly. With the exception of two or three points, when the forest is 
once destroyed it never renews itself. At one point west of the range, 
on the road from Helena to Deer Lodge, I noticed a grove of young pines 
or firs, which were growing up on what appeared to be a burned district. 
At one or two points in the interior of the mountains, back of Denver, 
I noticed the same thing ; also on the Eaton Mountains. But the 
reverse is not only the general but almost the universal rule throughout 
this immense extent of country. Add to this the immense destruction 
by fire and the wanton destruction by human hands, and the prospect 
for timber in this section in the future is not very flattering. Unless 
there shall be some remarkable change in climatic agencies this decay 
must go on, as man has no power to prevent it ; lie may cease the 
destruction occasioned by his own negligence and wantonness, but he 
cannot stop the process on the mountains. 

The late severe snow-storms (January, 1872) are somewhat remarkable. 
I have not obtained the particulars in regard to them, but if the news- 
paper reports are correct, they indicate the possibility of reacting cli- 
matic influences, which it would be well to study with care. 

But our only reasonable hope of a change in the amount and distri- 
bution of moisture and a supply of timber is through the jilanting of 
forest-trees. Each Territory and State within the area under consid- 
eration should take this matter in hand, and b^^ means of proper laws or 
premiums carry the planting of trees parallel with the settlement of 
the country. And directly connected with this matter is the want of 
hard wood in the entire portion of the United States west of the one 
hundredth meridian. I learn, to my great astonishment, that there is 
no hard wood suitable for wheelwright purposes, or for the manufacture 
of agricultural or other machinery, to be found on the western coast of 
North America, from the Arctic Ocean to the Isthmus. Whether this 
is correct or not I am not able to state, but I am satisfied it is true within 
the limits of the United States. All the material of this kind which is 
used even in making wagons anywhere west of the ninety-ninth or one 
hundredth meridian to the Pacific has to be brought from the Atlantic 
States. Now, if anything can be done to relieve this want, surely it 
would be of great benefit to future generations if of a permanent char- 
acter. It is probable that no wood can be grown in this dry district of 
a tenacity equal to that grown in the rain-moistened districts of the 
Atlantic slope but it is possible that such as will be adapted to all 
ordinary purposes may be i:)roduced, and the experiment is one that is 
worth trying. 

The industrial agent of the Kansas Pacific Eailroad is trying the 
experiment of growing forest trees on the plains without irrigation. 
It is to be hoped that this will not be given up until it is thoroughly 
tested ; and I would suggest that although the experiment may not suc- 
ceed along the whole length of the belt across the plains, yet it is of 
vast importance, should it fail in part, to know how far west it is pos- 
sible to encroach upon the plains. If an inch can be permanently gained 
by the first experiment, an ell may be gained by perseverance. 
15 G s 



Perhaps it will not be out of place for me here to make a suggestion 
in regard to a matter which deeply concerns the future welfare of the 
western half of the United States. As I have frequently stated, and as 
is now pretty generally known, irrigation is indispensable to cultiva- 
tion of the soil throughout (with some very limited exceptions) all that 
part of the United States west of the one hundredth meridian. We also 
know from the history of those countries where imgation is extensively 
practiced that it is absolutely necessary that the State shall take more 
or less control of this matter, upon which its prosperity, and, in fact, 
perpetuity rests. We may therefore predict, with confidence, that the 
day is not far distant when the States and Territories in the district 
where irrigation is necessary will have to take absolute control of the 
system of irrigation or keep a watchful eye over it and guard it well by 
laws, reguhitions, restrictions, &c. 

As the development of the agricultural resources of these States and 
Territories and their prosperity depend upon irrigation and the extent 
to which this may be made available, therefore it is a subject of para- 
mount importance, not only to those sections but also to the General 
Government. Unless proper and efficient steps are taken at an early 
day to adopt the best system of regulations, which will be adapted to 
an increased i^opulation, when the necessities demand such action in 
the future, it will cause much difficulty and inconvenience to lay aside 
one system and adopt another. This is, therefore, a matter well worthy 
the consideration of our national legislators while the Territories re- 
main their wards; and if they can i^lace these on the right footing now, 
it will greatly tend to accelerate their growth and prosperity. But the 
question is asked, How are they to do this? Is it possible for them to 
do this in accordance with their constitutional powers and without undue 
expense to the National Government ? I am of the opinion there is a 
method by which this can be done, and I herewith submit the plan in 
a few words. 

Let the General Government grant to the States and Territories in 
the region where irrigation is necessary — say, for example, all lying west 
of the one hundredth meridian, or i)erhaps the ninety-ninth, every alter- 
nate section of public land, with the condition that it be devoted 
entirely to the construction of irrigating canals and carrying on a sys- 
tem of irrigation. And the law making such grant should expressly 
reserve water privileges to those who may settle upon and occupy the 
remaining sections. By expressly providing that these lands should be 
applied solely to this purpose, it will be apparent to any one what an 
immense impetus it would give to the development of the agricultural 
resources ot this section. All of the available water would thus be 
brought into use, and the reserved lands would also much sooner be 
brought into demand, as they would be as much entitled to the benefit 
of this measure as the lands thus granted. And in order to secure the 
grant from any improper diversion from the object contemplated in the 
grant, the law should provide that the States and Territories should 
refund to the General Government the value, at the minimum price, of 
all lauds which the legislatures of these States and Territories should 
approi)riate to any other purpose. The law should further provide that 
the grant should not include any portion of the reserved lands in lieu 
of those which might be occupied at the time of its passage, but should 
include only those employed. It should also provide that these State 
and territorial governments should not use any of the proceeds of these 
lands so granted for the payment of officers and other expenses of such 
registers, receivers, &c., as would necessarily have to be incurred in the 


sale, &c., of these lands, but should limit the application of the funds 
arising under tliis grant to the expenses belonging strictly to the sys- 
tem of irrigation. This should not apply of course to mineral lands, and 
a special provision may be made in regard to the timbered lands on the 
mountains which are not adapted to agricultural puri)oses. One-half of 
these might profitably be granted, with the provision that, as a return 
therefor, it should be the duty of these State and territorial govern- 
ments to guard and preserve the forests on those lands not thus 

There would be some difficulty in regard to the survey of these mount- 
ain lands, but here the division need not be limited to alternate sections, 
but might be by tov.-nships, or in such a manner as the Commissioner 
of the General Land-OfQce might ascertain to be most practicable. 

I think it cannot be denied that such a plan w^ould result in more 
permanent benefit to these sections and to the General Government 
than any other which can possibly be adopted. It would at ouce prepare 
the way for the introduction of the best possible system of irrigation, 
and prevent the inconvenience and trouble which will hereafter arise 
when the introduction of such a system becomes absolutely necessary. 
It would rapidly bring into use the lands which require such extensive 
canals that individuals will not at present undertake it. There are mil- 
lions of acres on the broad plateau bordering the Arkansas, Rio Grande, 
Plattes, Snake, Missouri, and other rivers which might be rendered 
excellent agricultural lands if an enlarged system of irrigation could be 
inaugurated. But individual eifort is inefficient for this purpose. And 
though the granting of lands to railroads may partially accomplish, this, 
yet it is evident that it falls infinitely short of that result which would 
be brought about by the system here proposed. 

I submit these thoughts with the earnest request that you will give 
them such consideration as you think they merit. The object which the 
l)lan is proposed to accomplish I know to be one which you have long 
cherished, and for which you have so many years labored, and to which 
you now look forward with an earnest hope. 



As I have already given, in a former report, a description of the 
various valleys and arable tracts in ITtah, I shall at i)re^ent confine 
myself to a general view of the principal geographical features of the 
Great Basin, concluding the portion devoted to the Territory with 
a more minute account of that section visited in person tlie present 

I use the term ''Great Basin'' in contradistinction to that of ''Salt 
Lake Basin," to include that immense area lying between the Wahsatch 
Mountains on the east and the Sierra Nevada Range on the w^est, em- 
bracing the western part of Utah and the entire State of Nevada. In 
shape it is something like an ancient shield, the broad end being to the 
North, the southern extremity rounded to a point, its extreme width 
about 350 miles and its length north and south 3U0 miles. Having no 
outlet for its waters, by which they may be carried to the ocean, it forms 
an isolated and, as might be inferred from this fact, a somewhat peculiar 



Although a basin in fact so far as its water-drainage is concerned, 
yet its surface does not sweep down from the surrounding rim to a cen- 
tral depression, but, on the contrary, its areas of greatest depression are 
to be found near the borders, especially along the eastern and western 
sides, while its central portion reaches a much greater elevation, and is 
broken into a series of detached ridges. This will be seen by an exami- 
nation of the elevations along the line of the Central Pacific Eailroad. 
For example, at Brigham Station, on the border of Salt Lake, it is 4,220 
feet above the level of the sea, while at Pequop, the next station west 
of Toana, it reaches 6,184 feet; from this it again gradually descends to 
Desert, the second station east of Wadsworth, where it is only 4,017 
feet, or about 200 feet below the level of Salt Lake. The highest ranges 
in it will probably exceed the greatest elevation here given as much as 
1,500 or 2,000 feet. The elevations at the points of greatest depression 
in the southeastern and southwestern portions have not been accurately 
determined, but it is known that in the vicinity of Sevier Lake it is not 
more than 4,500 feet above the level of the sea. A comparison of these 
elevations with those of the broad mountain belt lying east from the 
Wahsatch Eange to the Black Hills of Wyoming will bring out this 
feature more clearly and forcibly, and at the same time afford us a means 
of comparing the climate of the two sections, so far as influenced by 
elevation, in the same latitude. The highest point of the Union Pacific 
Railroad on the western side of this belt is at Wahsatch Station, 6,879 
feet above the sea-level. The highest on the eastern side is at Sherman, 
8,242 feet. The lowest point between the two is at Green River, .where 
the elevation is 6,140 feet, or about 2,000 feet above the lowest level of 
the basin. Some of the intermediate ranges, as the Uintah Mountains, 
reach a height of 10,000 or 12,000 feet, and the peaks occasionally 
exceed 13,000 feet. That this difference in altitude must produce a 
considerable difference in the climate is evident. North the difference 
is not so great. 

This depression below the general level is a fact of much importance 
in estimating the agricultural resources of this extensive interalpine 
region, as it indicates a very material moderation of climate. And that 
which might be inferred theoretically has been shown by extensive ex- 
j)eriments to be true in fact, as can be seen from the list of the produc- 
tions of Salt Lake Valley given in my last report. 


The mountain features of this basin are somewhat peculiar, differing 
in some important respects from those of the sections lying east and 
north, and exerting a decided influence upon the channels of travel and 
internal commerce, and upon the lines of settlement and centers ot 
population. The Wahsatch Range, which runs almost directly north 
and south near the one hundred and twelfth meridian, forms the eastern 
rim, and presents an immense terrace wall, bracing up the broad ele- 
vated table-land which stretches out eastward of it, and of which it may 
be said, with more than mere figure of speech, to form the western es- 
carpment. It follows that its western slope presents a greater descent 
to reach the level of the lake than its eastern to reach the level of Green 
River. Except where cleft by the Ogden, Weber, and Provo Rivers, it 
presents a continuous ridge rising abruptly from the narrow plains, 
seldom sending out on this side foot-hills or slopes, but plunging ab- 
ruptly down beneath the debris that presses against its surface. This 



cliaracter is especially prominent opposite Salt and Utah Lakes. Tlie 
western face, though rocky, does not present that jagged, rugose ap- 
l^earance so characteristic of portions of the Rocky Mountains, but is 
marked by deep and sharp furrows, down w^hich the little streams formed 
by the melting snow rush with impetuous speed to the valley below. 
These little rills and mountain brooks, though but small in volume, not 
combining to form any extensive streams, are perhaps of more value 
to the pioneer settler than the larger ones. And in our estimate of the 
irrigable land of this western country, especially if we pass through it 
in the latter part of summer or in autumn, we are apt to overlook or 
underestimate their value. I am satisfied that while in some instances 
I may have overestimated the capacity of large streams, I have paid too 
little regard to the small ones. My attention was called in a special 
manner to this subject while camped near Ogden the present season. 
Our tents were pitched on the high ground to the northeast of the town, 
which, to one traveling along one of the usual highways, would appear to 
be entirely beyond the reach of irrigation, the elevation being, as ap- 
pears from the observations of Mr. Schonborn, the topographer of the 
expedition, over 300 feet above the level of the lake, and about 300 feet 
above Weber Eiver at the railroad depot. Yet even here I noticed 
around and for some distance above camp several irrigating ditches 
well filled with water, from one of which we obtained a supply for camp 
use. I found, upon examination, that these were supplied with water 
from little streams running down the indentations in the mountain side 
to the north of us, fed by the patches of melting snow resting among 
the crevices along the summit. Although within two miles of the base, 
and the hot sun shiuing squarely against what appeared to be a bare 
and naked rocky wall, we could detect no stream flowing down it. Not 
until we had api)roached to the very base could we discover the silvery 
thread winding its way down among the bowlders and little fringe of 
bushes that lined its pathway. This stream furnished water sufficient 
to irrigate and sui)ply the wants of a moderate sized farm. Multiply 
this by tens of thousands and we will have some idea of the importance 
of these minor and annual streams which generally pass unnoticed 
except by those immediately interested in them. 

Passing to the interior of the basin, whether moving round the north 
or south end of the lake, w-e shall find a succession of ^' long, abrupt, de- 
tached, parallel ridges extending in a north and south direction." And 
this holds true not only on the eastern side, or Salt Lake Basin proper, 
but also throughout the greater portion of Nevada. That such is the 
case in the southeastern part of this State is expressly stated in the re- 
port of the expedition under Governor Blasdel to Pahranagat. Baron 
Richthoren alludes to the same character of the ranges in the southwest. 
These ridges are separated by intervening valleys of various width, and 
even where the valleys expand into broad open plains, as in the central 
and w estern part of Utah, their boundary walls retain the same general 
course. The valley of the Humboldt might, at first sight, appear to 
form a remarkable exception to this rule, but a closer examination will 
show this to be a mistake ; for the greater i)art of its course it is formed 
by a series of openings through these ridges and across the iutervening 
valleys. That this is true is clearly shown by the direction of the trib- 
utaries that flow into it. This uniformity' in the direction of these minor 
ranges was noticed by Captain Stansbury, who states that even the 
northern rim of the basni partakes of the same character. ^' The north- 
ern rim of the Great Basin, or the elevated ground which divides it 



from tlie valley of the Columbia, does not consist, as has been supposed, 
of one continuous mountain range which may be flanked, but of a num- 
ber of long, abrupt, detached parallel ridges extending in a north and 
south direction, and separated by intervening valleys, which constitute, 
as it were, so many summit levels, whence the waters flow north on the 
one side into the Columbia, and south on the other into the Great 
Basiu.^' And in this opinion he is quite correct, for in passing from 
Cache Valley to Marsh Valley, the one lying south and the other north 
of this rim or divide, we found the two so united as to be continuous, 
but elevated at one point by a kind of broad cross-ridge which acted as 
a divide between the waters. I also know that such is the case with 
the Malade Valley. 

In Utah this direction of the valleys holds good with a remarkable 
uniformity. Cache, Malade, Blue Spring, Hansee Spring, Jordan, 
Tooele, Tintic, San Pete, Eush, Lone Rock, and Upper Sevier Valleys all 
maintain this course almost direct, w^hile the two i)arts of Salt Lake 
conibrm very nearly to it. From the head of Malade River to Utah 
Lalie is one continuous valley, varying less than five degrees from a 
north and south course. Antelope and Fremont's Islands and Oquirrh 
Mountains lie in a direct line with the course of the promontory which 
separates the northern arms of the lake. Without any reference to this 
law which seems to govern the hills and valleys, I colored, upon a large 
map, the arable tracts of the Territory so far as at present known, espe- 
cially those in which settlements have been made, when I was aston- 
ished to find that from the thirty-niutii parallel to the northern bound- 
ary almost every tract so colored would be included in a strip along the 
one hundred and twelfth meridian not exceeding fifty miles in width; 
Tooele, Rush, and Weber Valleys being the only exceptions. Another 
singular evidence of the force of this law which governed the formation 
of these ranges and valleys is shown in Cache Valley, w^hich maintains 
the same direction, though closed at the lower end by a cross-range of 
broken hills which shoot out from the Wahsatch Range, and crossed 
at the north end in a diagonal manner by the valley of Bear River. A 
similar feature seems to govern the valleys of the western side of the 
basin. Baron Richthoren, speaking of the Washoe Mountains, says 
that they are separated from the steep slope of the Sierra IsTevada by a 
continuous meridional depression, marked by the deep basins of Truckee 
Valley, Washoe Valley, and Carson Valley. Though irregular, a gen- 
eral direction may be traced in the summit range from north to south, 
where it slopes down to a smooth table-land, traversed from w^est to east 
by the Carson River, flowing in a narrow crevice, bej^ond which the 
Washoe Range is protracted in the more elevated Pine-i^iut Mountains. 

Notwithstanding this uniformity in the direction of the ridges and 
valleys, it exerts but little influence on the few leading streams, but, on 
the contrary, directs the course of all the minor streams. That it must 
have more or less influence upon the lines of travel and traffic, and the 
localities of the settlements of the Territory of Utah, is evident. A sin- 
gle railroad line from Corinne or Brigham City, in the north, to Saint 
George, in the extreme south w^est, would have the principal agricultural 
areas strung so closely along it that a day's drive with a team would 
reach it from almost any settlement likely to be made for some years to 
come, (the chief exceptions being those already' named and those lying- 
north of its terminus.) It is, therefore, easy to predict where the chief 
highway of this Territory will be. 



The rivers of the basin are small, and, so far as the volume of water 
is concerned, of small importance, bat in other respects play a conspic- 
uous part in the development of the country. The principal ones are 
the Humboldt and Carson, in the. western area, and the Bear and Jor- 
dan Rivers, in the eastern part. Sevier and Beaver Rivers, in the 
southwestern part of Utah, are considerable streams as compared with 
others of the section; but as little is ac^curately known in regard to 
them, I pass them without any special notice. Weber River, on account 
of its position, and as forming a gap through the mountain, is important. 
Prove (or Timpanogas) may be considered as a tributary to the Jordan. 

As a' list of the principal valleys of Nevada will be appended to this 
rei)ort, with a short notice of the agricultural resources of each, I shall 
omit further reference to that State at i)resent, except the bearing the 
Humboldt River and Valley have upon the travel and commerce of the 
basin. This stream, rising in the northeast part of Nevada, runs a lit- 
tle south of west for about three hundred miles, where it suddenly disap- 
pears in what has been very significantly and appropriately termed the 
'^Humboldt Sink," on the extreme western side of the State. Though 
a little stream of but few yards in width at its wide.^t point, winding its 
way down the gradual descent through narrow valleys of a monotonous 
uniformity that soon tires the most enthusiastic traveler, wholly inade- 
quate for navigation of any kind, yet it possesses an importance not to 
be o\'erlooked. Its valley forms a natural channel for the great inter- 
oceanic highway, furnishing a natural and, we might say, the only, easy 
pathway and water-supplj^ through a barren region of mountains and. 
valleys for three hundred miles. This is certainly a consideration of no 
small moment, for it renders it really more valuable to the nation and 
the world than if, without this, it were navigable from head to mouth. 
Small as it is compared with the treeless ranges of hill and plain on 
each side, yet it will furnish the means of forming at least a narrow line 
of green tields through this comparatively barren section ; for, to say the 
be>st we can of this region, although, peiha])S, affording moderate graz- 
ing fields, yet outside of the immediate bottoms of the few streams it has 
a barren and uninviting appearance. This line assumes still more im- 
portance when we take into consideratiou the large mining area on each 
side, especially south, to which it forms the base of travel and commerce; 
and the prevailing direction of the ridges and valleys, before alluded to, 
lend additional force to this statement. It must ever be the cliief axis 
of inland commerce and travel for the western portion of this great 
basin, and, consequently, a liidv in a through transverse line. Other 
lines of railroad may, and probably will, hereafter traverse the country 
north and south of this, but not so closely as to do away with its im- 
portance. Human genius and energy may make a pathway through the 
most rugged portions, but nature has prepared but one transverse chan- 
nel in this region ; longitudinally (north and south) there are many. But 
while the river is thus intimately connected with the development of the 
material resources of the country, on the contrary", the reservoir into 
which it i)ours its w^aters possesses no other than scientific interest — 
simply a marshy spot in a sandy plain, the extent of the water surface 
governed by the supply and capacity of the sands to drink it up and 
the atmosphere to evaporate it, the two latter generally being in excess 
of the former. 

Bear River, the largest tributary to Salt Lake, takes its rise in Utah, 
near the southwest angle of Wyoming. After winding its ^Yay north- 



\vard through the Wahsatch Mountains, about one hundred and fifty 
miles, extending even into the southern limits of Idaho, suddenly bends 
its course completely round, and flowing southward, pours its waters 
into Bear River Bay. As affording a supply of water for irrigating 
large areas of land in Cache and Malade Valleys, it assumes an import- 
ance of no little moment; but throughout its entire course, from its 
head to where it enters Cache Valley,' (with the exception of a few miles 
where the railroad traverses it, and where the coal-mines are opened.) 
it exerts but little influence in the development of the country. Its vol- 
ume of water is too small to admit of navigation; its course is too tortu- 
ous to be followed any great distance by any one line of travel; aud its 
valley is too narrow and too closely hemmed in by rugged mountains to 
be of any great value as an agricultural section, yet not wholly without 
interest in this respect. As a means of conveying timber down from 
the mountains to the railroad and other accessible points, it may become 
a valuable accessory. 

Weber Eiver, though small, is remarkable as affording a gateway 
directly through the Wahsatch Eange, Echo and Weber Canons pre- 
senting, as is well known to all who have traveled on the Union Pacific 
Eailroad, some of the grandest scenery in the West. 

The Jordan forms an outlet for the fresh water of Utah Lake, and, run- 
ning north some forty or fifty miles, empties into Salt Lake at its south- 
east angle. Insignificant in size, too small to be navigated, yet unlike 
the Oriental Jordan, from which it derived its name, it is of other value 
than simply a watering-place for thirsty man and beast. It and its 
tributaries afford water for irrigation, as shown in my last report, to an 
area capable, if properly and thoroughly cultivated, of supporting a 
population greater than the entire population of the Territory at this 

The Provo, (or Timpanogas,) rising back in one of those mountain 
centers found in the mountain regions, rushes down through a narrow 
cailon, which cleaves the range at this point, and pours its waters into 
Utah Lake. In passing I would call attention to this mountain nucleus, 
situated about latitude 40o.30, longitude 111°, and culminating in 
Reed's Peak. This is doubtless formed by the junction of the Uintah 
Mountains with the Wahsatch Range. Here, within a small area, all the 
leading rivers of Salt Lake Basin proper take their rise, viz, Bear, 
Weber, and Provo ; also the Uintah and White Rivers, which flow to the 
east and enter into Green River. The volume of water in the Provo is 
probably equal to any other belonging to the Salt Lake water system, 
except Bear River; and as its descent is very rapid it affords the means 
of irrigating all the table-lands lying in the vicinity of its exit from the 
mountains. It will afford excellent water-power for driving mills and 
machinery, and, being on the margin of the lake, must become of great 
value in this respect. 

Sevier River rises in the southwest part of the Territory and runs a 
little east of north between tAvo ranges of the Wahsatch Mountains 
for one hundred and fifty miles or more, when it breaks through the 
western rim of its narrow basin, and, turning southwest, flows into 
Sevier Lake. But as I have not visited this river I cannot speak very 
confidently in regard to its importance and the bearing it is likely to 
have upon the development of the country. Very little appears to be 
known in regard to the lake into which its waters flow. Mr. Smith, one 
of the members of the topographical corps of the present expedition, 
passed around its southern margin a few years since. Although he did 
not stop to make an examination, he saw clearly that it was a lake, and 


not a mere sink or marsh, being surrounded by a low growth of bushes. 
This would indicate that its waters are salt. The little streams that 
flow down the western slope of the range, (improperly represented in 
most maps as flowing east through the mountains,) and sink in the 
plains during the summer and autumn, probably reach the lake, by one 
or two channels, in the early part of the season, when fullest, as their 
general course, after reaehing the plain, is known to be to the northwest. 

From Weber River to the creek that flows into Salt Lake City, about 
thirty miles in a direct line, only two or three small rills are to be seen 5 
but from the latter to the south end of Utah Lake some ten or twelve 
moderately sized creeks flow down from the Wahsatch Eange, a list and 
description of which can be seen in my former report. The range on 
the west side of Jordan and Utah Valleys gives rise to none worthy of 
note, two little rills from the Oquirrh Mountains being all I saw. 


Although its waters are strongly saline and brackish, unfit for use to 
man or beast, and its depths, so far as known, undisturbed by finny 
tribes, yet the Great Salt Lake is the chief object of interest in the 
physical geography of the basin. Its dark-looking, (though really trans- 
parent,) heavy waters when not broken into rugged waves by storms, 
resting quietly, its surface reflects the shadows of the ranges that rise up 
on either hand, giving the scene a look of quiet solitude that all the hum 
of business along its shore is unable to dispel. The dark-brown wall of 
the Wahsatch, until the rising sun has reached its zenith, sends down 
a heavy shadow which adds intensity to this feeling. This perpetual 
somberuess, it would seem, must, to a greater or less degree, impress 
itself upon the mind of the resident who makes the rural districts 
long his home. One thing which adds to this somewhat peculiar som- 
beruess is the clear, transparent atmosphere, which renders vision tele- 
scopic, bringing the mountain-walls close around us. 

Although the shores of the lake have been inhabited for twenty years, 
and numerous scientific travelers and parties have traversed this region, 
and the great railway, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, passes along its 
margin, yet little is known in regard to it more than its mere outline as 
originally mapped by Captain Stansbury. Its Avestern coast is known 
to the public only through the interesting narrative of Captain Stans- 
bury J and although some analyses of its waters have been made, yet 
comparisons from difl'erent parts and difterenfc depths have so far been 
entirely neglected, and up to this hour little or almost nothing can be 
stated positively in regard to animal life in its waters. Numerous 
species of small fishes of Articulata and Mollusca are to be found in the 
streams that flow into it, and traced to its very margin ; but how far 
into the lake these extend is not' known. That ducks and other water- 
flowls gather food along its shore I know from personal observation. I 
have also seen Bear Eiver Bay almost covered with gulls; and Stans- 
bury brings this fact prominently forward in one of his figures of Gun- 
nison Island, which lies on the western side at a distance from the influx 
of fresh water. Although Captain Stansbury thinks these birds obtain 
their food entirely from the fresh- water streams, yet he speaks of finding 
a blind pelican in a " sleek and comfortable condition." Although 
these birds may congregate here for the purpose of rearing their young, 
yet this seems scarcely adequate to account for the i^resence of such 
numbers. The only analysis of the waters of the lake that I am 
acquainted with is that made by Dr. Gale and recorded in Captain 



Stansbury's report. It gives the specific gravity, 1.170 ; solid coDtents, 
22.422 out of 100 parts. The solid contents, when analyzed, gave the 
following components : 

Chloride of sodium 20.196 

Sulphate of soda 1.834 

Chloride of magnesium 0. 252 

Chloride of calcium A trace. 

22. 282 

Loss 0.140 

22. 422 

The specific gravity as here given corresponds exactly with the mean 
of eight different analyses of the waters of the Dead Sea, which is largely 
above that of the water of the ocean, (1.0278.) The solid contents of 
the water of the Dead Sea, taking the mean of the eight analyses,* before 
mentioned, is but 21.077, or 1.345 less than that of Great Salt Lake. 
This analysis shows clearly, as confirmed by practical experiments, that 
here can be obtained an abundant supply of salt for all the wants of 
this entire region, the percentage in the water being unusally large. 

When we remember that all the water which flows into the lake is 
fresh, a somewhat puzzUng question arises as to the source of such au 
abundant supply of saline matter. But the numerous and extensive 
saline incrustations at various points on the surrounding shores, left 
by the drying up of the winter marshes, show very clearly that some 
portion of the earth is saturated with this ingredient. But as an inves- 
tigation of this subject does not belong to the scope of this report, let 
us turn to that most interesting feature of the lake, the fact that although 
receiving the waters of various streams, yet it is without any visible 
or even supposed outlet, its influx of water being disposed of entirely by 
evaporation. A very natural inference is that the level of the lake 
must vary with the amount of water discharged into it by its various 
tributary streams. In the spring, when the streams are highest, the 
humidity of the atmosphere greatest, and consequent!}' evaporation 
slowest, we would presume the level of the lake is higher than in the 
latter part of summer when the tributaries are low and the atmosphere 
dry. What the difference of the level is between these extremes I do 
not know, nor am I aware that any observations have been made for the 
l)urpose of ascertaining, but I am inclined to think it far less than might 
be supposed. The rise of the level of the lake within the last eight or 
ten years, I am satisfied, can have no connection with an increased influx 
of water, but is owing entirely to some other cause. 

The shores being quite flat, a variation of the level of the lake can be 
easily perceived, and hence the fluctuations if considerable would be 
observed. But there is probably a very potent reason why these varia- 
tions are very slight; the evaporating influence is probably in excess of 
the normal amount of water flowing in, but is counteracted by the 
extreme saltness of the water, hence the spring excess of water does 
not produce the effect on the status of the lake that might be expected. 
In other words, the lake would dry up and become simply a water-sink 
as that of the Humboldt, if it were not for its saltness. The material 

* Smith's Bib. Die, III, 1183c. 



of which the bottom of the lake is composed also probably has influence 
iu this matter. 

According to my calculation, from all the datal have at hand, the sur- 
face-area of the lake is about one thousand nine hundred square miles 
Comparing this with some approximate estimates I have made of the vol 
unic of water in the principal streams emptying into it, I do not think 
the entire flow for twenty-four hours, if there was no evaporation, would 
raise the surface more than one-fiftieth part of an inch, even w^hen at 
the usual spring standard. Tn the summer this would not amount to 
more than one-hundredth part of an inch. That the evaporating power 
of the atmosphere is far in excess of this amount of water in the sum- 
mer time is evident to any one who has observed the rapidity with 
which shallow pools are dried up. The instrumental test, so far as it 
has been made, shows the atmosphere in summer to be exceedingly dry. 
While encamped on the margin of Bear Eiver Bay, June 10 to 13, Mr. 
Schonborn found the difference between the wet and dry bulb to be from 
24^ to 280. The imperfect record of the v/et bulb in Captain Stansbury's 
report does not show this diflerence, but his observations do not extend 
into the summer months, reaching only to April 19. Imperfect as this 
record is, it reveals one important fact, that during the winter mouths 
the diflerence between the wet and dry bulb is very small, not exceed- 
ing four or five degrees, but gradually increases as the season advances j 
the greatest diflerence given being 17^. 


This beautiful sheet of pure, fresh water is triangular, its three sides 
closely margined by mountains. Its base, which is the western side, 
extends from the exit of the Jordan to the southern extremity of the 
lake, and is about twenty-two miles in a direct line. Its apex points 
eastward and extends into the somewhat abrupt bend of the Wahsatch 
Eange at this point. A direct line from the apex, near Provo City, to 
the base, is about twelve or fourteen miles. The inclosing sides of this 
angle are about equal in length, each being some sixteen or seventeen 
miles direct.* Its surface area is probably about one hundred and 
thirty square miles. Although the Jordan during the spring and first 
summer months sends down a considerable volume of water,! am satis- 
tied that it is much less than the amount received by the lake. But as 
I visited it in the early part of autnmn I can speak positively only as 
to that season of the year. From the observations then made I am 
decidedly of the opinion that the Provo Eiver alone brought in more 
water than the Jordan carried ofl', leaving this surplus and that fur- 
nished by six or seven small creeks to be disposed of by evapora- 
tion. But it is evident that the relation between supply and evaporation 
is the reverse of what it is with Salt Lake ; for as the Jordan nevei; 
fails, (SO far as I am aware,) the supply must always be in excess of that 
carried ofl' by evaporation. Its waters are well stocked with fish and 
other aquatic forms of life. 


As but very few meteorological records have hitherto been kept in 
this basin, and these but for a few years only, and very irregularly, we 
can only give an approximation to the means of temperature and rain- 

* Air-lines are to be understood in estimating these distances. 



fall for the year and months. Yet even these are of great interest, as 
they fnrnish cumulative evidence in support of the opinion aheady ad- 
vanced respecting the climate of Salt Lake Yalley as compared with the 
elevated regions lying east of it. 

The following extracts from the registers of Camp Douglass, near Salt 
Lake City, and Fort Bridger, for the year 1870, will serve as a basis of 
comparison : 







Eain fall. 








31. 74 



1. 53 

20. 75 





36. 43 



1. 44 

25. 24 


— 8 



34. 08 



4. 57 

25. 71 





49. 91 



3. 40 

45. 38 





58. 53 




50. 55 





68. 10 




59. 38 




J nly 

76. 45 









71. 54 




61. 42 




61. 70 



J. 45 

51. 42 





52. 90 




41. 84 








39. 98 





27. 03 




19. 26 




Yearly mean 

51. 51 

Total.. 15. 10 

42. 05 

Total .. 5.58 


These two stations, by air-line, are not exceeding one hundred miles 
apart, the latter being about half a degree north of the former, and 
over 2,000 feet higher. 

An examination of these tables shows a constant difi'erence that is 
somewhat remarkable; the monthly means, maxima, and ininilna, with 
the single exception of one maximum, (where the two are the same,) 
of Camp Douglass being higher than those of Fort Bridger. The 
difference between the monthly means is never less than 4o.5, and never 
more than 13o.7, the average for the year being 9^.40. A comparison 
of the extremes shows a greater difference, but this probably arises in 
part from the different methods by which they were obtained, those of 
Camp Douglass being only the extremes at the times of observation, 
while those of Fort Bridger were obtained by a maximum and minimum 
instrument. Yet even these columns indicate a corresponding differ- 
ence, that between the maxima varying from to 19, averaging for the 
year 9.92, or less than a half-degree more than the average difference for 
the year between the monthly means. The minima cannot properly be 
compared, as those of Camp Douglass do not give the extreme cold of 
the night, or intermediate hours between observations, while those of 
•Fort Bridger do. 

A comparison of the seasons is quite interesting. To show this at a 
glance, I append the following table, with a column of differences: 








Camp Douplas-s, (therm, means) 

ITort Bridger, (therm, means) 


47. 51 
40. 55 

72. 03 

54. 77 
43. 08 

31. 73 
21. 78 

96. 00 
87. 00 

6. 96 


11. 69 

9. 95 

9. 00 



December sliows tlie lowest monthly mean, and July tlie highest, at 
botli places. 

The record of Camp Douglass indicates a climate very favorable to 
agriculture, the mean of the five months April, May, June, July, and 
August being 64.91, and the thermometer at no time, from May to Sep- 
tember, inclusive, falling as low as the freezing-point. Other meteoro- 
logical data which 1 have at hand, although fragmentary, corroborate 
this, and, as a means of reference, I present a summary in the following 
table, calliug attention to the fact that the records w^ere not all kept at 
the same point, but all in 8alt Lake Basin, and therefore can only be 
considered valuable as indicating the climate of the basin, (the lake 
basin proper,) taken as a whole : 







Great Salt Lake, (Blodget) 

47. 17 

72. 03 
75. 65 
72. 32 

54. 77 

31. 73 
23. 32 
21. 87 

51. 51 

Camp Floyd, (Disturucl) 

Wansliip, (Agricultural Keport, 18G8) 

48. 44 
(Oct.) 54. 7 

48. 65 

Salt Lake City, (ditto, 1868 aud 18G9) 

Coalville, in the mountains, (ditto, 1869) . . . 



f. 48. 07 

72. 47 

5L 70 

27. 30 

50. 08 

The record kept by Captain Stansbury while in Salt Lake Yalley em- 
braces but a part of the year, as follows: January to May, inclusive j 
parts of June, July, and August 5 and a few days in September and De- 
cember. In this the maximum is, August 10, 3 p. ra., 98^; minimum, 
February 3, 8 a. m., 6°, while at 11 p. m. of the previous day it was 8°. 

The only record of rain-fall within the basin that I have is that of 
Cauip Douglass, which is given in one of the foregoing tables. There 
is some doubt in regard to the reduction of the snow, which materially 
lessens the value of this column, so far as the winter months are con- 
cerned. I will simply call attention to the fact that this gives for the 
four growing months, April, IMay, June, and July, a total of 7.71 inches, 
which is but 0.37 above my estimate in my last report of the general 
average for spring and summer. 


The Wahsatch Eange is covered with a moderately heavy growth of 
pines and firs, but these are confined chiefly to the upper half of the 
mountains, leaving a wide border along the base uncovered. The Oquirrh 
Mountains, the range west of Utah Lake, and the Promontory also con- 
tain considerable quantities of pine timber. But as a general thing, the 
timber within the rim of the basin, south of the Pacific Kailroad, is small. 
On some of the ranges north a better quality is found, but it is not very 
abundant at any point. In regard to the forest growth west and south- 
west of the lake, I know very little. 



Having in my last report given short descriptions of the principal 
valleys of Utah, with rough estimates of their arable areas, will only 



add the following in regard to the small section in the northern part 
visited the past season : 

Weber Yalley, which is drained by the river of the same name, is 
situated in the gap of the Wahsatch Mountains made by tlie river in 
its passage through them, and is on the line of the Union Pacific Kail- 
road. The valley proper begins at Weber Station, and extends west- 
ward to the DeviPs Gate, a distance of some elev^en or twelve miles, 
varying in width from three-fourths of a mile to two miles. The land is 
good, and most of it can easily be irrigated, the supply of water being 
ample for this purpose throughout the growing season. At the west 
end of the valley, on the north side, there is a narrow terrace some 12 
or 15 feet higher than the bottoms, and four or five miles long by half 
a mile or less in width. The mountains on the south side have some 
pine timber near the summit, sufficient for the use of the valley popu- 
lation, but, as is generally the case in this region, somewhat difficult to 
obtain. The mountains on the north side are mostly destitute of timber 
in the immediate vicinity of the valley. Grazing is tolerably good on 
the foot-hills and mountain slopes to the south. Wheat is the prmcipal 
crop raised, though the other cereals, even some varieties of Indian 
corn, will grow. Such fruits as apples, cherries, currants, raspberries, 
strawberries, &c., can be produced. , 

The river, at the time of our visit, (June 1 to 9,) was quite full, being, 
at the point where the estimated measurement was made, about sixty 
feet wide and from one to three feet deep, flowing quite rapidly, at least 
four miles per hour. 

Uintah Yalley commences just below the mouth of Devil's Gate Canon, 
and is in fact but a part of Salt Lake Yalley, extending up into a bend 
of the mountains. It is, in other words, the broad pathway that Weber 
Eiver has cut through the sloping plain of Salt Lake Yalley. It con- 
tinues to the vicinity of Ogden, a distance of some nine or ten miles, 
varying in width from a half to two miles, and all susceptible of irriga- 
tion. The fall of the stream through this valley is much more than 
would be supposed, judging it by the eye, being, according to the rail- 
road survey, 220 feet in the ten miles, or 22 feet to the mile, w^hich shows 
that the water can be carried up to the higher terraces which lie. on the 
south side near Ogden. The rapidly increasing importance of this point 
will probably, ere long, cause irrigation to be carried on liere upon a 
much larger scale than at present; for the soil is very rich, and every 
spot that can be irrigated will become valuable when the drawbacks to 
its settlement are removed. 

The town of Ogden is situated along the escarpment of a terrace some 
50 or GO feet high, one part built on the lower level, the other part on 
the upper level. The soil of this terrace is a very light sandy loam, and 
w^hen supplied with an abundance of water will produce very tine veg- 
etables. The town is tolerably well supplied with water, chiefly, I 
believe, from Ogden Creek, which crosses the plain a little north of this 
1)1 ace. 

A number of shade-trees planted along the streets by the side of 
the ditches have grown steadily, until now some are over one foot in 
diameter, quite thrifty, and furnisiiing a very agreeable shade during 
the hot days of summer. There is, in fact, no other trouble to be ex- 
perienced in growing forest-trees here than the planting and ditching 
for water, and this need not be supplied after they have had a firm and 
vigorous growth for three or fou.- years. The cotton-wood, mulberry, 
locust, (pseudacacia^) Lombardy poplar, willow, and many other varie- 
ties can be raised without difficulty. I noticed in Salt Lake City locust, 



ailanthus, and walnut growing finely near the ditclies. Whether the 
hard woods, sueh as white-oak, hickory, beech, &c., could be grown to 
a size that would ruake them valuable is not known, but certainly it is 
of sufficient importance to induce the citizens or the territorial authori- 
ties to make a thorough experiment. 

It may appear absurd to say that after you once enter upon the plains 
going west, you cannot find sufficient hard wood in that portion of the 
United States lying between there and the Pacific Ocean to make an 
ax-helve. Yet this is no great exaggeration. Go into the wagon-shops 
of San Francisco and Sacramento and ask the workmen there to tell 
you where they procure the timber for their hubs, spokes, fellies, 
tongues, axles, &c., and they will tell you from the East. I had sup- 
posed that here, or at least in Oregon, an abundance of suitable timber 
for wagons, agricultural implements, &c., could be obtained, but the 
oak and ash is not used, as it is unfit on account of its want of tenacity 
or "brashness." Traverse the entire Eocky Mountain region from Mon- 
tana to the Mexican line, and this will be found true without any excep- 
tions. The climate is incompatible with the production of such wood 
when left to the supply of moisture nature gives. What difference a 
more abundant supply would have I am not able to say; and though I 
have some doubts in regard to the production of timber ada])ted to 
these purposes, yet it should only be admitted after a fair and thorough 
trial had been made. 

Perhaps it would be well for the General Government, under either 
the Agricultural Department, Commissioner of the Laud-Office, or 
commanders of military posts, to make a trial in this direction at one or 
two important points in the West ; for, if I am correct in the assertion 
made — and I certainly have no desire to misrepresent, but have made 
the statement after a somewhat careful inquiry — it is a matter of great 
importance to that section of our country. 

From Ogden the level bottoms or lake-shore lands spread out north 
and west, forming a triangular area. Westward to the lake- shore is 
about twelve miles, and north to the "Hot Springs'' about the same 
distance. At this latter point the arm of Bear Elver Bay and a spur 
of the mountain approach quite near each other, rendering the shore- 
level narrow. This triangular area contains about forty or fifty thou- 
sand acres, the greater portion of which is susceptible of cultivation, 
and is rich and productive. Already a large portion of it is occupied 
and under cultivation, and, although not farmed with that care required 
to bring forth its strength, yields remunerative crops. And notwith- 
standing the soil is a loose, sandy loam, which would seem to render it 
permeable by the extremely brackish water of the lake, yet where not 
absolutely covered with saline incrustations, this part of the shore-level 
can be cultivated within a short distance of the water's edge. Even 
the tongues of land which run in between the heavy saline deposits 
make very goo<l farming land when irrigated. On some of these there 
are already considerable settlements, from one of which we procured our 
vegetables and a supply of excellent strawberries while encamped near 
the Hot Springs, where we remained three days waiting for some mem- 
bers of the party. 

Not only do the cereals — including a tolerably fair variety of corn — 
grow well here, but fruits also, such as apples, pears, peaches, apricots, 
cherries, grapes, currants, strawberries, &c., can be raised in abund- 
ance and with comparative ease, the only drawback being occasional 
untimely frosts and the truly hateful grasshopper." 

It is the opinion of many of the old settlers that the climate is gradu- 



ally growing milder. They found this opinion on the fact that when 
first settled it was almost impossible to mature the tenderer fruits, as 
peaches 5 whereas, at present, they experience but little difficulty in this 
respect. But this may be owing, in a great measure, to the strength 
acquired by the trees by age, and to a partial acclimation. And the 
same thing is doubtless true here that has been found true in Califor- 
nia, that while the trees are young they require much more irrigation 
than after they have come into bearing; and depriving them of water 
probably renders them less liable to be affected by frost. It has been 
ascertained in California that orchards and vineyards produce better 
fruit and more certain crops without irrigation, after they have come 
into bearing, than with it; hence the practice of watering them is being 
generally abandoned. 

From the Hot Springs to Brigham City there is a narrow strip of 
arable land, which, though ascending toward the mountains on the east, 
and being somewhat broken and irregular, yet can nearly all be irrigated 
from the little streams which flow down from the mountain. The soil 
is quite good, and appears to be especially adapted to the cereals and 
grass. Advancing northward toward Brigham City, the area widens as 
the shore-line of the bay bends westward. 

Around Corinue, at the mouth of Bear Eiver, and at the termination 
of Malade ^ alley, is a broad, level expanse, probably some ten or twelve 
miles wide east and west by fifteen miles long north and south. On 
this area there are some considerable tracts crusted over with saline or 
alkaline deposits. A portion of the area east of the river, which is much 
less than that on the west side, can be irrigated from Box-Elder Creek, 
w hich comes down from the northeast through Box-Elder Caiion. As 
suggested in a former report, from information received, for at that time 
1 had not visited this valley, the level area around Corinne might be 
irrigated from Bear Eiver by commencing a canal at the mouth of the 
canon where the river bursts through the hills. A move is now on foot 
for this purpose, and a bill has been introduced into Congress to obtain 
a grant of laud in aid thereof. I do not know the amount of land which 
can be redeemed by such a canal, but I judge not less than 50,000 acres, 
and perhaps as much as 75,000 acres. I crossed this tract the past 
season in both directions, and although there are some strongly alkaline 
spots, yet I believe there are none but which may ultimately be purged 
and rendered productive; and if properly irrigated the entire area may 
be rendered excellent agricultural lands. West of this, as we near the 
Promontory, there is an area of considerable breadth as desolate as can 
well be imagined. The portion which is not covered with white incrusta- 
tions looks as though it had been swept over by a flood of some scalding 
chemical which had the power to annihilate every germ of vegetable 
life. I see no means of redeeming this gloomy desert belt, and I am 
inclined to think there is somewhere here an apparently inexhaustible 
source of this baline matter, so that even if there was water to irrigate 
it, it could not be purged of this matter so as to render it suitable for 
agricultural purposes. 

All that portion of Utah north of Salt Lake and west of Malade Val- 
ley, so far as I have seen it, is generally barren, with no apparent means 
of irrigating to an extent sufficient to produce any useful crops. 
Whether artesian wells would prove a success here or not I do not 
know ; but unless water can be obtained by this means, most of this 
section is doomed to sterility until some natural change shall i^roduce a 
large annual rain x^recipitation. 

Malade Valley, from the point where it connects with Bear Eiver 



Valley northward, is some twenty-five miles long and has an average 
width of six or seven miles. It is quite fertile and tolerably well grassed 
over, afibrdiiig excellent pasturage. Stock-raising ?nd the dairy busi- 
ness api)ear to be the chief occupation of tlie settlements that have 
been made here. Malade Eiver, together with the little rills which flow 
dow^n from the elevated ridges on each side, will probably be sufficient 
to irrigate most of the level land. There is one point near the upper 
end of this valley where the cattle appear to be subject to a fatal disease, 
arising from some local cause. Whether this is permanently the case 
or not I am unable to say. I noticed, in passing through this part of the 
valley, quite a number of dead cattle, and understood that ox-teams 
stopping here for a short time have sometimes suffered severely, but 
was unable to obtain any satisfactory information as to the probable 
cause of this. But even if this information is correct it is limited in 
area and does not apply to the greater portion of the valley, especially 
the lower half. 


From the point where we left Salt Lake until we reached the south- 
ern boundary line of Montana, I shall confine my notes on the agricul- 
tural resources of this section to the immediate line of our route, as 11 
obtained but very little information respecting the country either to tbe> 
right or left. And perhaps I cannot do better than to give my origitial! 
field-notes, which were generally written while the sections described 
were in view. 

Leaving our camp near the Hot Springs, about ten miles north of Og- 
den, for the first five or six miles we traveled up the level shore of the 
bay, which, until we pass Willard City for a mile or two, is tolerably 
well settled. About Willard City the ground rises somewhat,, and is 
more uneven and bouldery than usual in this valley. There aie some 
good farms here, which slope off below the town toward the bay. A. 
plain, generally level, extends around the curved shore-line of the bay, 
from our last camp to a point some distance west of Corinne, in a direct 
line, some twenty or twenty-five miles. Some areas near the bay and in 
the northwest part near Corinne, and one spot immediately west of 
Brigham covered with white saline incrustations were glittering in the 
clear sunshine as we passed. The mountains sweep around this area in 
a somewhat semicircular form, gashed here and there by comi)lete or partial 
canons. The hills on the north and northeast are beautifully rounded, 
smooth, and covered over evenly with grass and artemisia^ here and there 
interrupted by little thickets of green bushes or areas of yellow com- 
posite flowers. 

Brigham City, a small town of two or three hundred inhabitants, is 
situated near the mouth of Box Elder Canon, on a ridge or terrace con- 
siderably elevated, which appears to be composed of a sandy soil mixed 
with coarse gravel, and covered, where not in cultivation, with arte- 
misia. As we passed over this terrace, which is probably two hundred; 
feet above the shore-level, I noticed irrigating ditches traversing it in, 
various directions ; the w^ater is probably brought from Box Elder Creek. 
Here, turning suddenly around a long, elevated, and smooth terrace, we 
enter Box Elder Canon, which extends through the mountain, in a north- 
east direction. Ere we descended to the level of the creek behind this 
terrace we had a splendid view of the country over which we had passed. 
Looking back we could see the entire Salt Lake Yalley spread out be« 
fore us as a grand panorama. 

16 G s 



The sides of the canon consist mostly of high, steep, but smooth 
rounded hills, with occasional spots where the rocks jut out from the 
surface. It is quite tortuous and narrow, affording only space for a 
wagon-road. The creek rushes through it with considerable impetu- 
osity, and although rather small sends down water sufficient to irrigate 
a large area of land if properly husbanded. The ascent is somewhat 
rapid, being nearly one hundred feet to the mile. After moving up it 
for seven or eight miles we reach a beautiful little park, nestling cozily 
amid the mountains which surround it on every side j for by the time 
we reach this point the hills have grown into mountains. This park, 
which, at the suggestion of Professor Hayden, we named Box Elder 
Park, is nearly 1,000 feet above the level of Salt Lake ; is somewhat 
circular in shape, its longest diameter about four miles and its shortest 
about three. It contains an area of some teu or twelve square miles, 
most of which can be irrigated from the streams that traverse it. It 
has three different levels, the upper terrace, which embraces the larger 
portion, being some 60 or 70 feet above the next, which lies along the 
west side, and along the border of which, some 80 or 90 feet lower, runs 
Box Elder Creek. Most of the water at present used for irrigating the 
upper and chief area comes from a very large spring in the southwest 
corner, and is carried round three sides. Here is the little village of 
Copenhagen, containing some forty or fifty families, mostly Danes. 
There are two saw-mills, which are furnished with logs chiefly from the 
mountains that lie to the southeast. Fir and pine are the only kinds 
of timber obtained, except an occasional aspen. The lofty hills to the 
south, which rest against a background of rugged mountains, are as 
smooth as a carpet, green throughout, varied only with light and dark 
sliades, with here and there a tinge of brown, Avhich fades insensibly 
into a beautiful green. IS'ot a tree and scarcely a bush is to be seen 
upon them. To the southwest the sharper lines and crests of the ridges, 
as they extend down into the valley, show a little more of the mountain 
feature. They are also covered with the same green carpeting, with 
darker shades, and patches of shrubs and bushes scattered over the 
steep slopes. Still farther toward the west the hills grow higher and 
more rugged, with sharper outlines, while behind them a loftier range 
of rugged, snow-capped mountains shoots up, its peaks bristling with 
firs and pines. I mention these facts as showing a very striking feature 
of this region, to wit, the general absence of timber or arborescent veg- 
etation of any kind on the smooth and rounded hills and ridges, while 
ruggedness, as a general thing, is accompanied with forest growth. 
. Passing up through a narrow, but not rough canon, for a mile or two, 
we entered another little park of small dimensions, and apparently with- 
out any constant running stream to supply it w'ith water for irrigating 
purposes. I saw quite a number of cattle grazing here, but there is no 

Moving round to the northeast through a narrow, winding valley, over 
some smooth, rolling ridges, we entered another little basin about one 
mile and a half wide and three miles long, in the center of which is a 
large jjond of clear water. Here we saw a flock of sheep, numbering 
about four thousand, which had been driven from some distance south 
in order to find pasturage, which here is good. The margins of this lit- 
tle sheet of water appeared to be the general meeting-point for all the 
snakes of this region. A few miles' travel through a narrow, tortuous 
defile brought us in sight of Cache Valley. 

The short notice given of this imi:)ortant valley in my report of last 
year, although wholly from information received, was very nearly correct, 



varying slightly in the dimensions only. It lies north and south, a 
portion being in Utah and a portion in Idaho, tliongli the boundary 
between these two territories does not appear to be well known in this sec- 
tion. Its length, north and south, is about sixty miles, and its width 
from three to twelve, averaging about seven or eiglit. It is well watered 
on the east side by numerous creeks which rush down from the Wah- 
satch Mountains; the northwest portion is traversed by Bear liiver. 
Beginning at the south end and moving northward along the east side 
we arrive at these streams in the following order : Little Bear (or Muddy) 
Eiver; eight miles farther. Blacksmith's Fork ; one mile farther, Spring 
Creek; two and a half miles farther, Logan's Fork; eight miles farther, 
Summit Creek ; seven miles farther, High Creek ; eight miles farther, 
Cub Creek; then turning northw^est, at a distance of ten miles we 
reach Bear Eiver. Along the road, where it crosses these streams, 
there is generally a little village, the entire valley containing a popula- 
tion of some four or live thousand. Logan and Smithfield are the i)rin- 
cipal vilages. 

A little south of Logan, Brigham Young, at the time of our visit, 
was having inclosed a considerable area of land for grazing purposes, 
where he is introducing some improved stock, chiefly Devonshire. 
Some of the village wards also have land here, which they are inclos- 
ing for stock-raising. Each town has one or more herds of cows, which 
are daily driven to the pasture by a herder, who has charge of them ; 
for example, Logan has two herds, amounting to about 500 ; Providence, 
one of 275; Millville, one of 200; and Smithfield, one of 300. The 
area of land under cultivation is not large, not exceeding one-sixth of 
the area of the valley; but this is in part owing to the fact that stock- 
raising is the j)rincipal business, the valley affording, especially in the 
northern i^art, some excellent grazing fields. Wheat is the chief crop 
raised, the variety usually sown being what is called the Taos wheat ; 
club-wheat is also used, but appears to require richer soil and more 
water than the Taos variety, hence it is not generally cultivated. I 
noticed some Indian corn growing, but the climate is rather too cold for 
it. No fruit-trees, so far as I could ascertain, have yet come into bear- 
ing, though a number of apple-trees, and some pear, x)lum, and peach 
trees have been planted. Gooseberries and currants appear to grow 
well and produce an abundance of fruit ; the iiative currants, when 
transplanted and cultivated, make fine, large bushes, and bear abundant 
crops. Oats, barley, and the hardier vegetables can be grown without 

But a serious drawback to agricnltural progress in this valley is the 
grasshopper scourge. At the time of our visit the lower half of the 
valley was literally swarming with the Caloptemis spretus, or " hateful 
grasshopper." Nor was this the only insect i^est with which the farmers 
of this valley seem to be troubled : for throughont its entire length, the 
bushes and bunches of grass were often seen covered with locusts," 
probably a variety of the Cicada septemdecem. I noticed these insects 
so abundant in some places that hundreds could have been gathered 
from a single bush or bunch of rye-grass. In the northern part we also 
encountered the large brown " cricket," Anabrus simplex^ in immense 

Bear River is situated in a deep narrow valley which it has cut through 
the northern part of the valley in a diagonal direction from northeast to 
southwest. As this stream affords an abundant supply of water, if a 
canal of some twelve or fifteen miles long was constructed to draw off 
its water, a large area of the northern portion of the valley, which \i 



without small streams, might be irrigated, and probably as much as 
100,000 acres added to the cultiv able area. Timber iu abundance can 
V be obtained in the mountains to the east, and good building-stone can 
be obtained near Logan. 

In passing from this valley northward to Marsh Yalley, we cross the 
divide between the Salt Lake Basin and the Snake Eiver Basin, yet the 
dividing water-shed does not appear to interrupt the north and south 
direction of the ridges or valleys, and we only knew we were crossing 
the divide by noticing, after i)assiug over alow, broad, transverse ridge, 
running from the mountains on the east to those on the west, that the 
direction of the water had changed. From this point to Carpenter's 
Stage Station, on Marsh Creek, (a tributary of Port Neuf Eiver,) for 
most of the way we passed through narrow valleys, and over low, smooth, 
rounded ridges, generally covered with artemisia^ and without water 
sufficient for irrigating even the small areas sufficiently level for culti- 

Marsh Yalley is but a small opening, being about one mile wide and 
four or five miles long. It is covered with a thick sward of rich nutri- 
tious grass, and will afford a good grazing field for a small herd. Some 
two or three families reside here, but more on account of the business 
resulting from the travel that passes here than for the purpose of farm- 
ing or stock-raising. 

From Marsh Yalley to the Port '^Qvd. the country is rolling and broken, 
but not rugged, consisting of a succession of rounded hills and short 
ridges, which are smooth, without trees of any kind, and mostly covered 
with a scattering growth of stunted artemisia. Here and there the 
dark basaltic rocks show themselves above the surface. 

The valley of the Port Neuf is a narrow winding canon, the greater 
portion of its level surface consisting of a bed of columnar basalt. At 
one or two points there are small openings sufficient for one or two small 
farms ; but with these exceptions, it is of no value in an agricultural 
point of view. This valley opens into the broad Snake Eiver Plain. 

As I shall reserve the discussion of the agricultural capacity of this 
broad plain for a future report, I will continue the notes of our immedi- 
ate route, simiily stating at the end my conclusion in regard to the eas- 
tern portion of it. 

Leaving the banks of the Port Neuf we struck across the plains to 
Eoss's Fork. The plains are broad and generally level, and very dry. 
Between these two points there is but one small stream ; therefore, 
unless water can be brought from Snake Eiver, which is some twelve or 
fourteen miles distant, there would seem to be no chance to irrigate it. 
The mountains to the right recede from our road as we move north, so 
that the streams would be compelled to flow a considerable distance 
over the dry plains. At this point the three prominent and somewhat 
noted butteSy which lie far to the northwest, come into view, and far 
beyond them the snowy crests of the Salmon Eiver Eange can be dimly 

The soil of this part of the plain is good, and only needs water to ren- 
der it very productive and excellent farming land. Eoss's Creek is a 
swift-running stream some 20 or 30 feet wide, and affords sufficient 
water to irrigate some three or four thousand acres of land. At the In- i 
dian agency which is established here some attempts in this direction 
have been made, which I believe have been attended with success. 

As seen from the point where the road crosses this stream, the coun- 
try to the north and west is mostly an oi)en, level plain. To the east 


areliigh, smooth, and rounded foot-hills, behind which arise loftier mount- 
ains, from which the snow had not disappeared at the time of our visit. 

From here we moved northeast some fifteen or sixteen miles to Fort 
Hall, not the old Fort Hall of the maps, situated on the west bank of 
Snake Kiver, but the new fort built east of the river, about thirty miles 
from the old locality. Traveling uj) the little stream for five or six 
miles we found it somewhat closely hemmed in by the hills, yet here 
and there affording small areas of level bottom-land covered with a lux- 
uriant growth of grass. The rest of the distance, some eight or ten 
miles, was taken up in ascending and descending the lofty foot-hill we 
had to cross to reach the fort. Here we had one of the finest exhibi- 
tions! had seen of those smooth, peculiar hills which look so much 
like the folds in a lady's dress. This comparison may appear somewhat 
ludicrous 5 but while gazing from the summit of this ridge on the end- 
less succession of the smooth, grassy ridges and hills piled and rolled 
together to form the large ridge, distance giving the grassy covering 
the appearance of velvet or silk, the colors of the folds varying as if by 
the difference in reflection of the light, the resemblance to the folds of 
rich cloth was more than simply fancy. Over an area of perhaps one 
hundred square miles I saw but three or four trees, standing as lonely 
remnants of the forests which once doubtless covered this entire area. 
It is evident that these hills and ridges were once rugged, and that by 
the action of water, snow, ice, &c., the rocks have gradually been worn 
down until the surface has been covered with the triturated debris, thus 
giving it the present smooth appearance. That these rugged spots 
which remain are covered with forests is evident to all who have trav- 
eled over the Eocky Mountain region j and I think we have sufficient 
evidence to show that these now smooth ridges, before their former 
ruggedness was worn down, were also covered with forests of pine and 
fir. Here I also observed that there was presented in a marked degree 
that peculiar arrangement of colors belonging to elevated regions ; one 
side and the top of each of the descending ridges being pale-green or 
gray, while the other side or part of it was of a deep grassy-green. 
These variations tell us very plainly the direction of the prevailing 
winter winds ; for the greener spots mark the place where the snow 
lay the longest, showing thereby that they are on the side opposite that 
from which the wind came. 

Fort Hall is situated among the mountain foot-hills on a little stream 
that makes its way northwest to Snake Kiver. A small area of ground 
may be irrigated around it, probably not more than five or six hundred 
acres. The officers in charge of the post are making some experiments 
in horticulture and agriculture, and though laboring under many dis- 
advantages, the vegetables and cereals I saw growing there at the time 
of our visit indicate that wheat, oats, potatoes, cabbages, turnips, and 
pease can be produced without any serious difficulty on account of the 
severity of the climate. 

The dryness of the air was found to be very great here, the difference 
between the wet and dry bulb reaching, in some cases, 34^, and stand- 
ing generally each day during our stay at from 25^ to 28^. During the 
middle portion of the day we found the rays of the sun hot and oppress- 
ive when there was no breeze blowing. 

As a general thing timber is scarce throughout this entire region, 
that of value for lumber being found only on those mountains whose 
summits are covered with snow all or a great part of the summer. 
And here, as elsewhere in the whole Eocky Mountain belt, when the 
forest is once destroyed it is never restored. Most of the best lumber 



used in the buildings at the fort, as I am informed by Captain Wilson, 
the polite officer in charge of the fort, was brought from Truckee, Cali- 
fornia, and most of the other sawed lumber from Corinne. About fifteen 
miles to the southeast some tolerably good pine and fir timber can be 
obtained in the mountains. 

Leaving the fort we traveled northwest down the valley for a few 
miles, to where it opens into the Snake JKiver Plain. This i)lain on the 
east side of the river is here somewhat interrupted by sand-dunes, 
which have been piled up by the wind, reminding one very much of 
those along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, a little east of Chi- 
cago. Some of these were of considerable size, some entirely bare, but 
as a general thing they were covered with a scanty growth of such 
plants as covered the surrounding plain. 

Blackfoot Fork, which comes in here from the northeast, at the time 
we crossed it contained a considerable volume of water, sufficient to 
irrigate several thousand acres of the level plain through which it runs. 
At this point it is some ten or twelve yards in width, and averaged 
about three feet in depth, but on my return, a month later, the volume 
of water had decreased at least one-half. The hills to our right showed 
very distinctly the direction and force of the wind, which at certain 
seasons of the year must be quite severe. The mountains to the east 
recede, and appear to be lower than those farther south. 

After crossing this stream we entered upon a broad, open plain, which 
is an almost uninterrupted level, covered with grass and sage-bushes. 
Eleven miles brought us to a small stream called Sandy Creek, which 
runs in from the northeast. On each side of it, for a short distance, are 
heavy accumulations of sand, which have been blown or washed into 
rounded ridges and gradually flattened. Yet these sandy points are 
mostly covered with ranker vegetation than the surrounding level. The 
hills to our right, while receding from our course, decreased in height, 
sending downward toward the west long, smooth slopes furrowed with 
shallow ravines, often so regular and straight as to remind one of the 
" lands" in the wheat-fields of Pennsylvania. But all around, as far as 
the eye could reach, were treeless mountains, hills, and plain, bare, with- 
out a grove beneath which a shelter might be found from the rays of 
the sun, nothing to remind us of arborescent vegetation except the little 
fringe of willows and cotton-woods that marked to our left the course 
of Snake Kiver. 

From Sandy Creek to Taylor's Bridge, at the crossing of Snake Eiver, 
the broad, level bottom is composed of a rich sandy loam that needs but 
the addition of water to render it most excellent farming land. This 
bottom, on the east side, is some six or eight miles wide, and stands at 
a very moderate height above the ordinary water-level of the river. It 
is flanked on the east by a terrace some fifteen or twenty feet above the 

At the time we crossed the river, going north, it was quite full, and 
rushed madly through and over the basaltic rocks that at this point line 
its channel. The average width is about one hundred and forty yards, 
and the average volume of water it sends down is probably 3 feet 
deep by 400 feet wide, running at the rate of 4 feet per second, making 
4,800 cubic feet per second. At the time we first crossed it, (June 24,) 
the volume of water was more than double this, but on my return, nearly 
a month later, it did not exceed the estimate I have given. This amount 
of vv ater will irrigate nearly a thousand square miles of land sufficiently 
for ordinary crops, such as the cereals. And as the general level is not 
far above the average water-level, the canals need not be of very great 
length, and therefore tJie water that returns to the channel can be used 



again and again, thus increasing the area that may be rendered product- 
ive by it. 

From thispointwe could seethesharp granite spires of the Three Te tons, 
some tliirty or forty miles to the northeast, standing like grim sentinels, 
guarding the broad desert plain that surrounds tbeir base. While 
encamped near the bridge, quite a rain-storm came up from the southeast. 
A few short, stunted cedars, of considerable size, grow along the banks 
of the stream wherever the basaltic rocks come to the surface. 

Judgiug from the number of returning wagons we met from day to 
day, the freight from Corinne to Montana must be large, but much of 
this business will be cut oft when the ISTorthern Pacific Eaiiroad is 
finished. Yet I think a railroad from Helena to Salt Lake Valley would 
ultimately pay ; for if Snake Kiver Valley was irrigated, as it might be, it 
would support a large population, and such a road would give Montana, 
and all this region, the advantage of both roads, thus bringing them in 

Having crossed the river, we moved ui) the west side over the margin 
of the broad plain, which here spreads out to the west thirty or forty 
miles, apparently as level as a floor. The soil is good, and the sur- 
face is pretty well covered with a mixed vegetation, but nothing larger 
than sage-bushes. As we moved northward, the mountains, which for 
a day or two had been dimly visible in front of us, began to loom up in 
formidable proportions, and, when we reached Market Lake, appeared 
to sweep around us in a semicircle, at a distance of forty or fifty 
miles. Some fifteen or twenty miles to the east we noticed two 
large huttes rising up abruptly from the plain, and having much 
the appearance of craters of extinct volcanoes^ which they probably 
are, as this entire region seems to be underlaid with basalt. But on 
this point full information will doubtless be found in Professor Hayden's 
report, to which this is appended. The three huttes seen to our left at 
Eoss's Pork were now distinctly visible to the southwest. The entire 
width of Snake Elver Plain, along this portion of it, measuring east and 
west, from mountain to mountain, is about eighty miles. The river evi- 
dently overflows a portion of the plain here when there is a flood, and the 
water which is left in the depressions forms the lakes, as they are called, 
but which are really but large ponds. Market Lake is said to have re- 
ceived its name from the following circumstance : Formerly, at a cer- 
tain season of the year, bufi'alo, deer, antelope, and other species of 
game were accustomed to congregate here probably on account of saline 
matter deposited ; and the hunters, when they found game scarce in 
other sections, would remark to each other, Let us go to the market." 
There is now a stage-station here, around which I noticed a large hexd 
of cattle grazing, while at some distance out on the plain a number of 
antelopes could be seen quietly feednig. 

Soon after we had pitched our tents, the mosquitoes began to appear 
in vast swarms, and before sunset the numbers increased to such an 
extent that the air was almost black with them, but soon after night- 
fall all had disappeared. 

Here Ave left the river and struck northward across the plains for the 
mountains. After traveling two or three miles we entered upon a broad, 
rough, slightly elevated ridge, composed of broken basalt, which has 
been elevated above the general level. This broad ridge, which does 
not have an elevation of more than forty or fifty feet, covers an area of 
about ten miles square, and, as there is no means of bringing water upon 
it, it must remain unfit for cultivation. It is covered throughout with a 
scattering growth of gnarled sage-bushes. 


After leaving this we entered upon a dry desert tract, but sparsely 
covered with stunted artemisia. The sand in some places was very deep, 
and caused the wagons to drag heavily. This continued until we reached 
Kamas Creek, and even there the sand is often deep, and in some places 
cast up in long, low, rolling ridges. A few cotton- woods remain on the 
bank of this stream, but the bordering country has the most barren as- 
spect of any that we have seen. From this point to the mountains, 
some twenty-five miles distant, which form the dividing line between 
Idaho and Montana, the character of the country was much the same as 
that just described. 

As we come near the foot of the range, the land begins to rise gradually, 
and is much better grassed than that we had passed over during the 
two previous days, and the occasional little streams that flow down will 
afford a means of irrigating small areas. But I think the climate is 
quite severe, and that only the hardiest cereals and vegetables can be 
grown ; but as there are no settlements here, no experiments in this 
direction have been made. 



Montana, with the exception of Alaska, is the most recently organized 
Territory of the United States. Embracing that region lying between the 
forty-fifth and forty-ninth parallels of north latitude and one hundred and 
fourth and one hundred and sixteenth meridians of west longitude, it 
contains an area of 143,776 square miles or 92,016,040 acres, extending 
from east to west about five hundred and fifty miles, and from north 
to south about two hundred and eighty miles. It is separated into two 
very unequal areas by the dividing range of the Eocky Mountains, 
which forms the southwestern boundary from the west line of Wyoming 
to the intersection of 45^ 40' north latitude and the one hundred and 
fourteenth meridian. Here it suddenly bends eastward for some dis- 
tance, and then runs north about twenty degrees west to the northern 
boundary of the Territory. About one-fifth of the entire area belongs 
to the Pacific siope, being drained by the head-w^aters of the Columbia, 
and four-fifths to the Atlantic slope, being drained by the Missouri and 
its tributaries. Extending from the mouth of the Yellowstone to the 
summit of the Bitter-Root Range, about two-fifths belong to the mount- 
ain region, three-fifths consisting of broad, open plains l^ingeast of the 
Rocky Mountain Range. The mountain belt, w-hich forms a broad mar- 
gin along the western end, has i^robably an average width (direct meas- 
urement from the summit of the Bitter-Root Range to the east flank of 
the Rocky Mountains) of one hundred and seventy-five miles, running 
northwest parallel to the western boundary. Besides these two leading 
ranges and their interlocking spurs on the western slope, there are some 
minor ranges on the eastern side, which though comparatively small in 
extent are important in respect to the influence they have upon the 
course of the water-drainage and the form and direction of the prin- 
oipal valleys. In the northwest corner of Wyoming, near the point 
where the dividing range makes the western bend and passes out of 
this Territory, is what appears to be the great mountain nucleus of this 

* The substance of tliis chapter has been furnished the Agricultural Department, 
and will appear in the Report of that Department for 1871. 



region. Here tlie Big Horn, Yellowstone, Madison, Snake, and Green 
Rivers Lave their origin. From, this mountain center a number of 
short ranges run northward, giving direction to a number of streams, 
and ai)i)earing like evidences of the abortive efforts of the elevating 
* force to keep up its direct course. Along the southern border the Snow 
Mountains — the northern extension of the Big Horn Eange — penetrate 
for a short distance into the Territory, compelling the Yellow^itone to 
make a grand detour in order to sweep around the northern flank. In 
the central portion are the Belt, Judith, and High wood Mountains, 
forming an irregular group of short and broken ranges, around which 
the Missouri sweeps to the northward before entering upon its long, 
eastward stretch. These also have a central nucleus situated in the 
western part of Meagher County, where the Musselshell, Judith, Deep, 
and Shields Eivers take their rise. North of the Missouri Eiver the plain 
is interrupted only by Bear's Paw, the Little Eockies, and occasional 

As a general thing the mountains of this section are less rugged than 
in the Colorado group although here and there are sharp, angular peaks, 
yet as a general rule, instead of the rocky, jagged sides and serrated 
crests, there are smooth slopes and rounded outlines. The elevation of 
both mountains and valleys, as will be seen from the list of elevations 
presented below, is much less than that of the great mountain belt of 
Colorado and Wyoming, and even that of ^^ew^ Mexico, Utah, and Nevada. 
But before presenting these statistics, I would call attention to the re- 
markable bend of the chief range at the southwest angle of the Terri- 
tory. Traversing as it does three sides of a trapezium, it gives both to 
the eastern and w^estern basin the form of a cul de sac, the one inclosing 
the head-w^aters of Clark's Fork of the Columbia, and the other the trib- 
utaries of the Jefferson. The former descends as we move to the north- 
west, while the latter descends toward the northeast. The dividing 
range, growing lower and lower from its entering angle, does not resume 
its usual altitude until it approaches the northern boundary of the Ter- 

The following list of elevations, chiefly along a line running east and 
west near the middle of the Territory, will enable us to form a pretty good 
idea of the general elevation. 



Fort Union, at the mouth of the Yellowstone 2, 022 

Trading Post, on Milk Eiver. 2,388 

Fort Benton 2,780 

Forks of Sun Eiver 4, 114 

Lewis and Clark's Pass 6,519 

Blackfoot Fork, near the mouth of Salmon Trout Creek 3,966 

Blackfoot Fork, near its junction with Hell Gate Eiver 3,247 

Missoula Eiver, near the mouth of St. Eegis de Borgia . . 2, 897 

Summit of Coeur de Alene Mountains, at Coeur de Alene Pass. . 5, 089 

Fort Owen, in Bitter-Eoot Valley 3,284 

Deer Lodge City, in Deer Lodge Valley 4, 76$ 

Prickly Pear Valley, near Helena 4,000 

Little Blackfoot, or Mullen's Pass 6,283 

From this list we see that the western or intermontane basin reaches 
a depression less than 3,000 feet above the level of the sea j and that 
the least altitudes of the eastern slope range from 4,000 to 2,022 feet 
above the level of the sea. Comparing these with the altitudes of the 


other Territories we find the difference much greater than would be an- 
ticipated. For this purpose I give here the elevations of a few points : 


Albuquerque, New Mexico 5,032 

Santa Fe, New Mexico. . 6, 840 

Denver, Colorado 5, 300 

Green Elver, at the railroad crossing 6,140 

Salt Lake City...- 4,350 

The Humboldt Sink > 4, 017 

Fort Laramie 4,519 

Sweet Water Eiver, at Independence Eock 5, 998 

South Pass Citv - 7, 857 

Fort Hull, (about) 4,200 

From this we see that even the lowest point of the Great Basin, near 
the "Humboldt Sink," is 1,120 feet above the mouth of the St. Eegis de 
Borgia and 733 feet above Fort Owen. This very important fact in 
regard to the physical geography of this Territory will serve as an ex- 
l)lanation of its comparatively mild climate, notwithstanding its north- 
ern latitude. 

The entire Territory may be divided into four sections, each having 
its water system and natural boundaries tolerably well defined, as fol- 
lows : The northwestern, which includes all that portion lying between 
the Eocky Mountain and Bitter-Eoot Eange ; the southern, which is 
drained by the three forks of the Missouri; the southeastern, which is 
drained by the Yellowstone •, and the northern, which includes the val- 
leys of Milk and Missouri Elvers, and the bordering plains. Mr. Gran- 
ville Stuart designates a fifth basin, embracing the country drained by the 
Boulders and the lower portion of the Jefferson ; but for the present 
purpose, the foregoing division is probably the best, his fifth basin being 
considered as a portion of the southern section. 


This section, as before stated, is situated between the Eocky Mount- 
ain Eange on the east and the Bitter-Eoot and Coeur d'Alene Mount- 
ains on the Avest, extending from the forty-sixth parallel of latitude to 
the British possessions, and including all of Missoula County and the 
southern half of Deer Lodge County. It is about one hundred and fifty 
miles wide and two hundred miles long, containing an area of thirty 
thousand square miles ; and is traversed from southeast to northwest 
by Clark's Fork of the Columbia, and its leading tributaries. 

The northern part is variable in character, having some open prairie 
country and valleys of limited extent, while much of it is broken and 
ragged and covered with heavy pine forests. It is drained by Flathead 
Eiver, which has three leading tributaries — Maple Eiver, coming from 
the northwest j Flathead, from the north ; and another branch from the 
northeast. Near the forty-eighth parallel this stream expands into a 
beautiful lake about thirty miles long and ten or twelve miles wide. 
Below this it is of considerable size, flows in a southwest direction for 
about fifty miles, and joins the Missoula, the two forming Clark's Fork.* 

* The main braucli of this stream has a number of different names. From the junc- 
tion of Deer Lodge and Little Blackfoot Eivers to the mouth of Big Blackfoot, it is 
called Hell Gate Eiver ; from there to the mouth of the Flathead it is called Missoula, 
from there it retains the original name of Clark's Fork, though it is sometimes called 



On the west side of the lake, near its southern limit, starts a range of 
broken and somewhat rugged hills, which extends northwest to the 
vicinity of Kootenay River, in the extreme northwest angle of the Ter- 
ritory. This range, which forms a divide between the waters of Maple 
Elver and those of Clark's Fork, is mostly covered with dense pine for- 
ests. The country, in the vicinity of Kootenay Eiver, is composed 
chiefly of high rolling prairies, through which this stream, here some 
two or three hundred yards in width, flows with a moderate current. I 
am informed by Mr. Bonner, who I believe owns a ferry here, that the 
immediate valley of this river is from five to fifteen miles wide and 
well grassed, affording excellent pasturage. Potatoes have been grown 
there for several years, the tubers being large and quality good ; and 
although the cereals have not been tried, he thinks the climate would 
present no serious obstacle to their production. The Kootenay Indians, 
for the last five or six years, have been raising potatoes for food, but 
until last season have obtained their seed from the whites, having too 
little foresight to lay up a supply for this purpose, until forced to do so 
by the refusal to furnish them any longer. 

Eor twenty miles Tobacco Creek, a tributary of the Kootenay, runs 
through an open prairie country. It rises in the forest-clad range before 
mentioned and runs northwest. Maple Eiver, for most of its coarse, to 
its junction with the Flathead, traverses a forest-covered section, its 
valley being narrow, until it enters the iDrairie. North of the lake there 
is a prairie some thirty miles in length, north and south, and fifteen to 
twenty miles wide, one arm of which extends northwest, in the direction 
of Maple Eiver, and the other north. 

On the east side of the lake the country is broken and mountainous, 
rising rapidly to the dividing range of the Eocky Mountains, which in 
this section presents some sharp and rugged peaks, its western side cov- 
ered with heavy timber, while its eastern slope, which is less rugged, 
has only a growth of scrubby pine, which disappears toward the base. 
The region immediately around the northwestern angle of the lake is 
thickly wooded with pine, tamarack, and fir. The western shore is 
bordered by rocky hills covered with forests the greater part of its 
length; near the southern extremity these retire, leaving some open 
prairie country, which is well grassed over, and where some arable land 
may be found, but the extent is unknown. The eastern shore appears 
to be closely hemmed in by high and somewhat rugged hills, aflbrding 
but little level land adapted to agricultural purposes. Below the lake 
Flathead Eiver is from one hundred to one hundred and fifty yards in 
width, averaging 2 to 3 feet deep, and descending at the rate of 10 feet 
to the mile, at one point having a fall of 12 or 15 feet. 

Hot-Spring Creek, which rises some distance west of the lake, flows 
southeast about twenty-five miles and enters the Flathead opposite 
Pend d'Oreille Mission. Along and in the vicinity of this stream there 
is some level and open country where good farming land can be found. 

The valleys of Flathead and the little streams which enter it from the 
east afford some arable lands, but these are mostly in small detached 
areas, in one of which Pend d'Oreille Mission is situated. This central 
portion of the section under consideration is occupied by one of the 
reserves for the Flathead Indians. The following statement in regard 
to this mission by Colonel Wheeler, who visited it last season, may not 
be uninteresting: 

" We were surprised at the extent of the farming operations carried on. 
All the grain and corn, potatoes and other vegetables, cattle and horses, 
butter and cheese needed for several hundred persons, are produced 


here by the labor of Indians under tlie superintendence of the brothers. 
The mission, I believe, is entirely self-sustaining. We were told that 
wild grapes, plums, cherries, strawberries, and other small fruits grow 
in this valley in profusion and of excellent quality. This mission was 
established by Father De Smet, and I understand is the oldest in Mon- 
tana. After an hour's rest and a bountiful dinner, we were invited to 
visit the sisters' school and department of the mission. The residence 
and school-house of the sisters and girls under their charge is made of 
hewn logs, is two stories high, about 60 feet long, contains six rooms 
above xind six below, and has a wide hall running the whole length in 
both stories. It is exceedingly neat, airy, and comfortable. 

The most interesting part of our visit was the examination of the 
children in their studies. There are seventeen Indian and three white 
girls, varying in age from three to twelve years. They were all dressed 
alike in neat calico, faces clean, hair smooth, and eyes bright. Although 
somewhat bashful before strangers, they acquitted themselves very 
creditably in spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic. The penman- 
ship of some would do credit to any young lady. They seemed very 
fond of their instructors, and obeyed every request very cheerfully. 
While we were there an Indian and his wife, with his little girl, rode up to 
the mission. He said they had brought their child to the sisters' school, 
from near Colville, in Washington Territory, a distance of three hun- 
dred miles. The father and mother were assigned comfortable quarters, 
and bountifully fed, and their horses taken care of. The little girl was 
given in charge of the sisters, and an hour after appeared with the other 
girls, nicely washed and dressed as any of them, and apparently as 

I have given this interesting narrative not only as showing something 
in regard to the agricultural resources of tliat section, but also on ac- 
count of the lesson it teaches in regard to obtaining influence over the 

Jocko Eiver runs through one of the prettiest valleys in this entire 
section. It is in the form of a triangle, its sides, which are nearly equal, 
being from ten to twelve miles long. It contains about fifty square 
miles, most of which can be easily irrigated, and which, if properly cul- 
tivated, will produce bountiful crops, the soil being quite fertile. Sur- 
rounded by lofty mountains, which form its triangular walls, little rills 
flow down into it from all sides, furnishing a never-failing supply of pure, 
clear water. Last year the Indian agent, with but little help except 
that of the squaws, (the Indian men being generally too lazy to work,) 
raised over 1,000 bushels of potatoes, 1,500 bushels of wheat, 300 bushels 
of corn, &c. ; his corn, as he reports, yielding as much as 75 bushels to 
the acre. 

This portion of the section has but few settlements in it. Jocko Yalley 
being the principal one ; north of the lake but little is known in regard 
to it, but upon many of the little streams which flow down from the 
mountains will be found small arable areas amply supplied with water 
for irrigation. And here, as well as on the western side of the section, 
many of these minor valleys are covered with forests of pine, fir, and 
other varieties of coniferous trees. 

The southern district, which is somewhat quadrilateral, is surrounded 
on three sides by leading mountain ranges, the Kocky Mountain divide 
forming its southern and eastern boundary, and the Bitter-Eoot Mount- 
ain its west. It has three principal streams, which converge toward the 
northwest angle, where they unite to form the Missoula Eiver, as follows: 
the Hell Gate, (the continuation of Deer Lodge,) rising in the southeast 



angle, ruDS northwest diagonally through the district j the Bitter-Root, 
rising in the southwest angle, runs north near the western border j and 
the i>ig Blacktbot, rising in the Eocky Mountains^ to the east, runs west- 
ward along the northern border. All that portion lying south of Hell 
Gate River is traversed north and south by a senes of somewhat paral- 
lel ridges, separated by intervening valleys of greater or less width, each 
drained by one leading stream, which runs north to the great diagonal 
channel. The most important of these valleys, in an agricultural point 
of view, are those watered by the Deer Lodge and Bitter-Root Rivers. 

Deer Lodge Valley is about forty miles long\,with an average width of 
twelve miles that can be irrigated and cultivated. The surface is a broad ^ 
level bottom, occasionally flanked by terraces, which, at most points, can 
be reached by irrigating-ditches a few miles in length, as the descent of the 
stream is quite rapid. The soil is good, being covered in a natural state 
by a heavy growth of rich and nutritious grasses, and when properly 
irrigated and cultivated will yield abundant crops of such things as are 
adapted to the climate. Not only is it supplied with water by the cen- 
tral stream, which traverses the entire length of the valley, but there 
are quite a number of smaller rivulets which flow in from the mountains 
to the right and left. Below Deer Lodge City the hills close in upon the 
valley, leaving a narrow, fertile bottom, which does not average more 
than three-fourths of a mile in width. 

As the elevation, which is but little under 5,000 feet, is greater than 
that of the valleys lying west of it, and most of those east of the range, 
its climate is less favorable for agriculture than some other portions of 
the Territory. Mr. Granville Stuart, of Deer Lodge City, who is a very 
careful observer, gives the following as the monthly means of the tem- 
IDcrature for 1868 and 1869 : 




































> 42. 6 










This gives the yearly mean of the temperature for two years 40.7, 
and the mean of the seasons as follows : spring, 41.6 ; summer, 69.7 ; 
autumn, 43.1 ) winter, 19.9. Although 1868 gives a higher mean than 
1869, yet January of the former appears to have been unusually cold. 
This list also brings out the fact that the seasons are very variable, 
which is really the greatest climatic impediment to agriculture in these 
mountain regions. For example, there is a difference of 21.9 between 
the means of January for the two years ; of 11.4 in March, that of 1868 
being in excess, while in May, 1869, is 11. 1 in excess, this holding good 
through the summer months; but in October that of 1869 falls 24^ 
below that of 1868; whereas the means of the next month show 1868 
6.1 below 1869. Such variations show that the mean annual depression 
of the thermometer is caused not so much by a uniformly rigorous 
climate, as by sudden cold spells, which, though continuing but a short 
time, serve to bring down the means. For example, we may feel confi- 
dent from this table that some time during the month of October, 1869, 
there was a sudden change and a cold spell. It must be remembered 
that this record, which shows a somewhat rigorous climate, was made 
where the elevation is 4,768 feet above the level of the sea, and is con- 


sequently below the mean temperature of the principal agricultural 
areas of the Territory; and, in addition to this, its i)eculiar position, as 
will be shown hereafter, probably renders it more exposed to winter 
storms than other portions of the section. 

The record of the rain-fall has not been kept for a sufficient length 
of time to obtain a correct average for the different seasons ; but the 
following may be of some interest, as giving an idea of the amount : 


























1. 05 


1. 47 


3. 85 




1. 17 





1. 30 

1, 32 

2. 29 

1. 07 

This shows a total for 1870 of 16.50 inches, the snow of winter being 
reduced to the rain standard; and for the growing season, April to 
July, 9.15; or taking the average of these months, in 1870 and 1871, 
(July, 1869,) 7.04 inches, which corresponds yerj closely with the rain- 
fall in Salt Lake Basin for the same months. 

Such cereals as wheat, oats, rye, and barley, and such vegetables as 
turnips, potatoes, cabbages, &c., can be raised here without any serious 
difficulty on account of climate. The valley is pretty well settled along 
its lower half. Deer Lodge City, one of tke principal, and probably the 
prettiest, town of the Territory is here. 

Little Blackfoot, coming down from the dividing range and having 
to wind its way through a mass of heavy hills, is hemmed in closely for 
most of its length, and afibrds but a narrow strip of arable land ; but 
wherever a level space is found the soil is rich and productive, and 
covered with a green carpet of tall, rich grass. I noticed timothy 
growing wild along this stream, the citizens contending that it is from 
seed brought by Lewis and Clark. This valley, for i^art of its length, 
affords a roadway for travel and stage line from Helena, by way of 
Mullen's Pass, to Deer Lodge and points west. The bordering hills are 
generally well timbered. 

Moving west from Deer Lodge Eiver there is, as has already been 
stated, a succession of ridges and valleys running north and south 
parallel to each other. Of the latter, Flint Creek Valley is the first we 
reach. It is divided into two parts, an upper and a lower, by a gorge 
some four or five miles long. The upper portion is about ten miles 
long, with an average width of four or five miles, including that part 
of the bordering hills which can be irrigated. The lower part is about 
fifteen miles long, and, counting the valleys of both forks, has an ave- 
rage width of about five miles. The climate here is rather milder than 
that of Deer Lodge. The grazing is good. It is but sparsely settled. 

Passing westward, across another ridge, we enter the narrow and 
rough valley of Stone Creek. This stream is of considerable length, 
and is about the size of Deer Lodge Eiver, (60 to 75 feet wide,) very 
rapid and rough, flowing over bowlders and ledges. Very little farming 
land is to be found along its banks, but the stream will furnish excel- 
lent warter power, and timber is abundant along the bordering hills. 

The next and last valley toward the west is that of Bitter-Root 
River, which contains some of the finest agricultural lands in the 
Territory. From the mouth of the canon, where the stream emerges 
from the mountains, it stretches directly north to Hell Gate River, 


a distance of eighty miles. From Fort Owen, south, it varies in width 
from four or five to fifteen miles, averaging some nine or ten; north 
of this it is somewhat narrower, its average width not being more 
than five miles. It is all well adapted for agriculture, the soil being a 
rich, dark loam, mingled with sand and gravel ; and where undisturbed 
by the farmer's implements is covered with luxuriant grass, supplying 
most excellent pasturage. In addition to the central stream, which is 
of considerable size, there are a number of small creeks and brooklets 
which flow into it mostly from the ridge to the east, of which the 
following may be mentioned in the order they come, beginning at the 
head of the valley : Weeping Child, Skarkahoe, Gird's, Willow, Burnt 
Fork, Three-Mile, Six-Mile, and Bogues Greeks, all entering from the 
east, and Nez Perces and Loulou Forks from the west. By proper 
efforts this entire valley can be irrigated and brought under cultivation, 
affording a rich agricultural area of at least four hundred thousand 
acres. As its elevation is much less than the valleys which have been 
mentioned as lying in the eastern part of the section, it has a much 
milder climate. But the difference in elevation will scarcely suffice as 
a sufficient explanation of the difference in climate between areas so 
near to each other; for here, especially from Fort Owen south, the val- 
ley will be free from snow and the weather comparatively mild, while 
other valleys, but a short distance north and of less altitude, are covered 
with snow, and the temperature several degrees colder. And this is not 
a mere accidental occurrence of one season, but so common as to have 
been noticed by all who reside in or have remained in the valley for any 
considerable length of time during the winter. This may possibly be 
accounted for in this way: the general course of the winds in this 
country, I believe, is from the northwest ; Glark's Fork (counting from 
the head of Deer Lodge Greek to Lake Pend d'Oreille) forms a continuous 
channel up which they niay sweep in order to make their exit from the 
section across the low gaps of the divide at the southeast corner. Bit- 
ter-Eoot Valley being narrowed below and shielded on the west by 
Bitter-Eoot Mountains, as a matter of course is much less liable to cold 
winds and storms. In consequence of the direction of the leading 
channel of this basin and the peculiar bends of the mountain-range 
here, reasoning a priori we would be led to the conclusion that the 
heaviest accumulations of snow would be fouud on the south side, in 
the Big Hole or Wisdom Biver Basin, which I understand is the case, 
though Mr. Stuart gives from the "Backbone" down to the mouth of 
the river on Big Hole as one of the areas of least snow during the winter 
of 1861-'G2. 

The following statistics^ though meager, will furnish some data by 
which to judge of the climate of this valley : 

Altitude of Stevensville, a few miles south of Fort Owen, 3,412 feet 
above the sea; of Fort Owen, 3,281; and of Missoula, near the junction 
of Bitter-Eoot and Hell-Gate Elvers, about 3,000 feet. 

The mean temperature of the seasons and year at Fort Owen and 
Stevensville, from the imperfect observations taken at these points, is as 
follows: ' 






















But one of the best means of judging of the climate, so far as its 
bearing upon agriculture is concerned, is a list of its productions. 

Isot only can wheat, oats, barley, rye, and the hardier vegetables be 
raised, but Indian corn, of a tolerably good quality, is grown here year 
after year in sufficient quantity to supply the wants of the valley ; 
melons, tobacco, and broom- corn thrive ; and such fruits as apples, pears, 
plums, and cherries mature their fruit. Peach-trees have been planted, 
and during the past season gave promise of maturing their fruit, but 
whether success has attended this effort has not been ascertained j but it is 
quite probable that after a few years' trial and the trees become somewhat 
acclimated, they will succeed. Muskmelons, squashes, tomatoes, beets, 
carrots, and onions, of excellent quality and of large size, have also been 
raised. These facts give undoubted evidence of the comparative mild- 
ness of the climate in this northern latitude. 

The following sketch by Major Wheeler, the United States marshal 
of the Territory, who passed through this and the adjacent valleys in 
the early part of the autumn of 1870, will convey a better idea of the 
beauty and agricultural resources of this part of the section than a 
more lengthened description. Speaking of the farm of Hon. W. E. 
Bass, he says : 

" The large fields of wheat, corn, and potatoes, the vegetable-garden, 
and especially the flower-garden, excited our admiration. We saw fifty 
acres of wheat, averaging 40 bushels to the acre, and twenty acres of 
corn, averaging 50 bushels, ripe and sound. Everything else was in the 
same ratio. I brought away specimens of corn, onions, melons, tobacco, 
broom-corn, and even peanuts, which for quality and size cannot be 
surpassed anywhere. The flower-garden was a gem of its kind, covering 
half an acre, and containing over a hundred varieties. The barn is 165 
feet long and 60 wide. The loft will hold 150 tons of hay, and the stalls 
below will accommodate the herd of dairy-cows, fifty of which are milked 
and the butter churned by water-power obtained from a small stream 
which irrigates the garden," (a very convenient contrivance, becoming 
quite common in this Territory.) ^' The house is prettily located among 
shady pine-trees, a forest of which extends back to the mountains. A 
saw-mill furnishes the lumber used on the place. On the opposite side 
of the valley, ten miles away, is the farm of Thomas Harris, esq. He 
has seventy acres of wheat, fifty of which are raised without irrigation, 
and the whole will average about 40 bushels to the acre ; twenty acres 
being a voluntary crop. Mr. Harris has an orchard of apple and plum 
trees of four years' growth, and they look very thrifty, varying from 
6 to 9 feet in height. Frost has never injured a twig. He has a field of 
timothy-grass, from which he cut twenty tons of excellent hay, or two 
tons to the acre. Here were vegetables of the best quality in the great- 
est profusion — watermelons, muskmelons, squashes, tomatoes, beets, car- 
rots, and onions, of large growth." 

Another gentleman, Mr. Bonner, who has resided in the country for 
several years, furnishes the following statement in regard to what he 
knows from jDcrsonal observation of the productions of this valley, 
including the condition of the crops and orchards the present sea- 
son ; and in this he confines himself strictly to such things as will 
mature with ordinary care, not including those things which require ex- 
traordinary care and protection : wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn, (of 
such varieties as are usually raised in Western New York,) potatoes, (re- 
markably large and of a superior quality,) onions, turnips, pease, beans, 
tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers ; also such fruits as apples, pears, 
plums, cherries, and the smaller kinds, these being now (August, 1871) 


in fruit. A trial is being made with grapes and peaches, the latter, he 
understands, having some fruit on them, but the vines and most of the 
trees are yet too young to bear. 

The banks of the streams are lined with cotton-wood and pine, the 
former reaching a height of CO to 70 feet,* and the latter much larger 
and of a superior quality, sometimes 150 feet high, 3 feet in diameter, 
and perfectly straight. 

Although there is considerable timber between Deer Lodge and Bit- 
ter-Root Valleys, yet it may be considered an open country, furnishing 
a large number of extensive grazing-fields. And I may remark here 
that all of Montana from the east flank of the Belt Mountains to the 
Bitter-Root Range may be considered as one vast pasture. 

The valley of Big Blackfoot is some forty or fifty miles long, varying 
considerably in width at different points, sometimes expanding into a 
broad, undulating prairie, through which the stream winds, flanked on 
one or both sides with a low bottom of moderate width ; at others nar- 
rowing to what is called a canon, though liaving a valley-surface of 
from a half to a mile or more in width. Above the canon is a very 
pretty open area somewhat elliptical in shape, called the Belly, which is 
about seven or eight mil^s long and from four to six wide. The area 
lying between the lower part of Blackfoot Yalley and Hell Gate is an 
open and rolling prairie, well covered with grass. Above the canon the 
spurs and ridges are generally covered with pine forests. What portion 
of this valley can be irrigated I was unable to learn ; but the descent of 
the stream being rapid, and it together with the tributaries from the 
north furnishing a large supply of water, not only the immediate bot- 
toms, but also a large portion of the terraces and lower slopes, can be 
reached and rendered tillable. 

The valley of the Hell Gate from the mouth of the Little Blackfoot to 
the lower end of the canon above Missoula is some sixty-five or seventy 
miles long. For the first twenty-five or thirty miles it is bordered by 
an open, rolling country, sometimes broken into high liills, the imme- 
diate valley being narrow. 

The caiion is about thirty-five miles long, having nearly all the w^ay a 
narrow strip of good bottom-land from one-fourth to a mile wide. About 
thirty miles above Missoula the pine timber comes down into the valley, 
not a thick and massive growth, but in open groves of fine, tall trees, 
the soil throughout being good and yielding well under cultivation. 

The Missoula Valley will average about fifteen miles wide down to 
Frenchtown, a distance of some twenty-eight or thirty miles. From 
there to the mouth of the Flathead River there are open pine forests, 
among which some farms have already been made. This portion of the 
valley varies in width from three to eight miles. 

Although the altitude of this valley is less than that of tl^e Bitter- 
Root, yet the climate is not so favorable to agriculture, being somewhat 
colder and more subject to frosts. This fact corresponds with the theory 
I have previously advanced, but possibly may be owing to other causes, 
as latitude, &c., but can hardly be owing to the proximity of higher 
mountains, as this is not the case. Thompson's Prairie, Horse Plains, 
and Kamas Prairie, which lie along Clark's Fork in the vicinity of and 
below the mouth of Flathead, contain considerable areas of good farm- 
ing lands, well watered and having a moderate climate. Some settle- 
ments have already been made in Horse Plains. 

The valley of Clark's Fork from Thompson's Prairie to Lake Pend 
d'Oreille is narrow and broken, having but few spots of arable land. 
It is well watered with little streams, w^hich flow down from the hills to 

17 G S 



the nortli, and is covered^ for tlie most parfc, with forests of piue, fir, 
and tamarack. 

It will be seen from the foregoing description of this northwestern 
section that it contains a considerable number of arable areas, and 
although, with the exception of Deer Lodge and Bitter-Eoot Valleys, 
these are of small size, yet in the aggregate they furnish quite an exten- 
sive agricultural surface. The detached form, surrounded by elevated 
ridges and mountain ranges, secures to each an ample supply of never- 
failing streams for irrigation. The extensive forests of the west side 
will also prove a source of wealth whenever a means of distributing the 
lumber is furnished by railroad communication with the less favored 
sections in this respect. The climate is also much less rigorous than 
would be anticipated in this northern latitude and mountainous region. 
I must acknowledge that I was agreeably disappointed in this respect. 

Mr. Granville Stuart estimates the ratio of farming, grazing, and tim- 
bered lands in Deer Lodge County as follows : Farming, one-eighth ; 
grazing, five-eighths ; timbered, one-fourth. This estimate, with a slight 
change, will probably apply to the entire section, the proportion of tim- 
bered land being somewhat larger, and that of grazing lands smaller. 


This section includes that portion of the Territory drained by the 
three forks of the Missouri, viz, the Jelferson, Madison, and Gallatin 
Eivers, and the regions as far north as Helena. It is bounded on the 
south, west, and partly on the north, by the Eocky Mountain Eange, on 
the east by the divide, which separates the waters of the Gallatin from 
those of the Yellowstone, and embraces Beaver Head, Jefferson, Madi- 
son, and part of Gallatin Counties. It is so irregular in form that it is 
difficult to estimate its area, but this probably amounts to fifteen 
thousand square miles. 

The physical geography of this section, and especially the mountain 
regions surrounding it, is very enteresting, as here some of the great 
rivers of the West have their origin. Here the great Missouri, which 
traverses an area of sufficient size for an emi)ire has its origin. In 
the mountain area, in the extreme northwestern corner of Wyoming 
Territory, which borders on this section, the Big Horn, rellowstoue, 
Madison, Green, and Snake Eivers all take their rise, the first three 
finding an outlet for their waters through the Mississippi to the Gulf 
of Mexico; the next through the Colorado to the Gulf of California; and 
the last through the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, three thousand 
miles from the exit of the first. Here, amid a collection of the most 
wonderful scenery of the continent, is found the chief radiating point 
of the water systems of the Northwest, being equaled in this respect 
only by the mountain group of Colorado Territory. A minor radiating 
center is also found in the western part of Meagher County, where 
the Musselshell, Judith, Deep, and Shield's Eivers all take their rise 
within a small area. 

Mr. Stuart divides what is here given as one section into two basins, 
the one drained by Jefferson Eiver and its tributaries, the other being 
drained by the North and South Boulder Creeks and a few small tribu- 
taries of the Missouri below the junction of the three forks. The first 
basin embraces all of Beaver Head County and the western half of Mad- 
ison, and is drained by three streams, the Big-Hole (or Wisdom) Eiver, 
Beaver Head, and Stinking Water, which unite at the northeast angle to 
form the Jefferson. The first of these rising in the extreme western 


part of the section, following the course of the great bend of the range, 
sweeps round in a semicircle, and, bursting through an intervening 
ridge, unites with the Beaver Head immediately south of Deer Lodge 
Pass. Its valley is crescent-shaped, and not far from eighty miles long, 
the widest part reaching fifteen or twenty miles. Big-Hole Prairie, 
which forms a part of this valley, ig about fifty miles long by fifteen 
wide, well grassed, and afibrding one of the best summer grazing fields 
in the entire section. At some points the slope between the little 
streams descends by terraces. Although the soil of this valley is toler- 
ably good, and water for irrigation abundant, the seasons are rather 
too cold to admit of its becoming an agricultural region, its average 
altitude being probably as much as 6,000 feet above the level of the sea, 
and the amount of snow which falls during the winter months consider- 
able. The central part of the area inclosed by the circle of this river is 
occupied by Bald Mountain, from which the little streams, like radii, 
rush down to the encircling river, around the northern flank, while from 
the southern and eastern flanks others find their Avay to the Beaver Head. 
The latter stream, rising in the southwest corner of the county, flows 
north to its junction with the Big- Hole, the most important part of its 
valley being about thirty-five miles long, counting from its mouth 
upward, the width, which is tolerably uniform, averaging about six 
miles. Between these two rivers, for some twenty miles above their 
junction, is a level plain about fifteen miles wide, rather barren, but, if 
watered, which probably can be done, would make good farming land. 
Along the immediate bottoms the land is already mostly taken up and 
settled, but these do not average more than a half or three-fourths of a 
mile in width. 

The principal tributaries from the west are Eattlesnake, Willard, and 
Horse Prairie Creeks; those from the east are Eed Eock and Black- 
Tail Deer Creeks, the last three having valleys of considerable extent, 
which afford excellent pasturage and moderately good farming land. 
But the climate is rather too cold for anything excejit the hardier vege- 
tables and cereals. 

Stinking Water Eiver (the Indian name of this stream is said to be 
Passamari) rises in the mountains at the south end of Madison County, 
and running north connects with the Jfefferson a short distance below 
the junction of the Beaver Head and Big Hole. It has a valley some 
thirty-five or forty miles in length and of variable width, being sepa 
rated into two parts by a short canon immediately opjiosite Virginia 
City. The upper portion, which is some fifteen or twenty miles long 
and from one to five miles wide, is an excellent grazing section, which 
is already attracting the attention of stock-raisers. Some large herds 
of cattle, horses, and sheep have already been brought into this and 
Black-Tail Deer Valleys, where they pass the winter without protec- 
tion and without other food than what they clip from the open pastures. 
Except so far as limited by climate, this part of the valley is well 
adapted to agriculture. 

Below the cafion the valley is considerably wider than above, and 
affords a large area of good farming land, much of which is already oc- 
cupied. The cereals and common vegetables are raised without diffi- 
culty, producing very good crops. By advancing upon the broad ter- 
race which borders this valley on the east side below the mouth of 
Alder Creek, the breadth of tillable land can be largely increased, and 
the sui^ply of water is probably suflficient to do this, the stream being 
some sixty or seventy feet wide, and averaging a foot in depth, running 



Where the three streams, Big Hole, Beaver Head, and Stinking Water, 
unite to form the Jefferson, there is a broad, level area, the greater part 
of which may be irrigated and make good farming land. And this 
point must become one of considerable importance as the Territory in- 
creases in poi:>ulation, on account of the advantages of its position ; for 
here must always be the junction of the roads up Beaver Head and Stink- 
ing Water, down the Jefferson and *over Beer Lodge Pass. No matter 
how much the general direction of traffic and travel may change, these 
must ever remain lines of travel so long as there is any passhig north 
and south in this section. And although not possessed of so favorable 
climate as some other parts of the Territory, yet I think it will become, 
though limited in its extent, a very important agricultural area. Com- 
ing down from Deer Lodge Pass I was struck with the beauty of the 
valley, which looked like one vast meadow 5 and reaching the banks of 
the Big Hole and Beaver Head, which are here in close proximity, rush- 
ing down with heavy volumes of pure limpid water, I felt satisfied there 
would be no difficulty in forming a net- work of ditches filled with water 
over the entire area. 

The valley of the Jefferson for twenty-eight or thirty miles below this 
point will average, exclusive of the table-lands Avhich flank it, from 
three to five miles wide. The supply of water is amjile, not only to ir- 
rigate the bottoms or valley proper, but also a large portion of the table- 
lands, which at some points expand to a width of eight or ten miles, but 
in other places form but mere strips. The stream, which is probably 
120 to 150 feet wide and 2 feet deep, is fringed by a growth of cotton- 
wood and willow, the former often of quite large size. The bordering 
mountains are clothed with a heavy growth of dark i)ines from their 
summits down to the sloping foot-hills ; from this dark-green border the 
pale, smooth meadow sweeps down in a graceful curve on each side, 
giving to the valley a soft, attractive beauty seldom seen. As we rode 
rapidly along the margin of the stream we could imagine the delight of 
Lewis and Clark as they traversed the same valley, then doubtless 
teeming with game. More than sixty years have passed since they 
were here. What a change ! A nation has sprung into existence on 
that which was then only the home of the red man, buffalo, and elk. 
And in all probability ere another half decade has closed the shrill 
whistle of the locomotive will be heard reverberating among these 
ridges and echoing along these valleys. Much of this valley yet remains 
unoccupied, probably because to irrigate the larger bodies of bottom- 
land would require the construction of somewhat lengthy ditches to 
draw off water from the river; the points which are settled being sup- 
plied, as a general thing, with water from the little tributaries that flow 
down from the mountain, as at Silver Star, &c. 

Madison Eiver, rising in the region of hot springs and geysers, near 
Yellowstone Lake, runs a northern direction to Gallatin City, where it 
unites its waters with those of the Jefferson and Gallatin to form the 
Missouri. It is worthy of remark that from the Beaver Head to the 
Yellowstone there appears to be a succession of short mountain ranges, 
or high ridges, running north and south, with intervening valleys of 
greater or less width, one of which is traversed by the Stinking Water, 
another by the Madison, and a third by the Gallatin. 

The valley of the Madison is separated into two parts by a short canon 
east of Virginia City. Above this it .extends about twenty miles, vary- 
ing in width from two to five miles, and is flanked by a succession of 
beautiful terraces almost perfectly horizontal, and which extend for 
miles along the valley, leading gently down from the mountains to the 


river on eacli side. The soil is coarse gravel near the hills, but becomes 
finer as the immediate channel of the river is approached. On the east 
side of the valley several canons give egress to wooded streams of con- 
siderable size, and afford the means apparently of almost unlimited 

Meadow Creek, which joins the Madison at the upper end of the canon, 
traverses a comparatively small valley, containing some ten or twelve 
sections of level land. This valley well deserves its name, for it is cov- 
ered with a dense carpet of fresh, tall, green grass, and is traversed by 
several sparkling brooklets, which,, uniting, form Meadow Creek. All 
the terraces bordering this little valley are susceptible of irrigation and 
cultivation. There are now residing here some fourteen families, and 
others were expected before the close of the season. 

That part of the valley of the Madison below the canon is some 
twenty-five or thirty miles long, and varies in width from one to ten 
miles. From the canon the river flows in a northerly course, its banks 
being only 6 or 8 feet high, yet not subject to overflow. The average 
width of the river is about 80 yards, the current swift, flowing over 
bowlders and gravel. The valley lies mostly on the east side, befng 
somewhat narrow near the canon, but expanding as it approaches its 
junction. The soil is good, and the valley well adapted to farming pur- 
poses, the greater part of the valley proper being already settled, and 
for the most part under cultivation. The high table-lands that rise 
from 200 to 300 feet above the level of the valley on the east side, and 
forming the bank of the river on the west, are unexcelled for grazing 
purposes, fine buffalo and bunch grasses growing in abundance. Unless 
the canon should interpose an insuperable barrier, which, I think, is 
not probable, it will be possible, not only to irrigate the valley level, 
but also a great part of this plateau, the supply of water being sufiQcient 
to water a large breadth. It is very i)robable that ere long a good 
wagon-road will be made up this stream and its tributary, Fire-Hole, 
from the vicinity of Virginia City to the geysers, hot springs, and other 
Avonderful scenery around Yellowstone Lake. 

The Gallatin Kiver is formed by two streams, called East and West 
Forks. The East Fork flows for some distance through a canon, which 
ceases about twenty miles above its junction with the West Fork. 
From this point it flows in a northwesterly direction, being 50 or 60 
yards wide, but shallow, its banks high and not subject to inundation. 
The bottom-lands on the east and west sides taken together have an 
average width of about three miles, a large portion of which is under 
cultivation. On the east side the bench-land is about 20 feet above the 
bottom, and is well grassed over. This extends eastward for seven or 
eight miles to Mill Creek, or the right fork of the Gallatin. This might 
be irrigated with moderate expense and trouble, afld made as productive 
as the bottoms which it flanks, so noted in the Territory on account of 
the heavy crops they yield. Mill Creek runs northwest through Boze- 
man, where it connects with East Fork. 

Timber is scarce in these valleys, nothing but cotton-wood being found 
on West Fork, and that in small groves, except near its junction with 
East Fork, where there is a considerable quantity of large cotton-wood. 
The greater part of the timber used in this valley is hauled from the 
mountains south. There is a large amount of stock raised here, the graz- 
ing being good. A flouring-mill has been erected on Mill Creek, near 
Bozeman, and another will probably soon be built. 

East Fork, coming from the Grosfoot Hills, northeast of Bozeman^ 
flows in a westerly course for six or eight miles, thence northwest to its 



juuction with West Fork. It is some forty or fifty yards wide, flowing 
swiftly, its banks being high and not subject to overflow. The imme- 
diate valley is from two to five miles wide, while on the south a low 
* table-land, not more than fifteen or twenty feet above the bottoms, 
stretches out to the south, ascending with a gentle slope to the foot of 
the mountains. The supply of water is ample, and the facilities for 
irrigation excellent. This is one of the finest valleys of this section, the 
soil being good and the climate favorable, on which account it has at- 
tracted settlers, so that at this time it is mostly inclosed and under 
cultivation ; and it is probable that ere long an encroachment will be 
made on the bordering plateau. The stream is fringed by a fine growth 
of cotton-wood and aspen, except which there is no other timber in the 
valley, this being supplied from the mountains to the nortbwest. 

As a general thing, the southern part of this section is not so well 
timbered as the regions to the northwest, but the mountains will furnish 
a supply for ordinary purposes, yet even these in many places present 
quite naked slopes, being smooth and grassed over to the summit. The 
evidences of the gradual wearing down of the mountains and filling up 
of- viilleys are very marked in this part of the Territory, and whei^ever 
this is the case but few forests are to be found. In fact, it may be laid 
down as a rule that has but few exceptions here, that wherever the 
mountain sides are smooth there are no forests. In some places the 
levels of broad valleys, when seen from a distance, look like streams 
flowing down with a somewhat rapid current ; and glancing up to the 
mountains from which they descend, we see the immense fissures and 
excavations from which the <?e6m has worn away. Often across these 
river-like ribbon plains, we see where another ancient stream has 
swept across it to the channel the modern stream has cut on one side 
near tlie base of the parallel mountain. At other places little, smooth, 
sloping deltas will be seen at the base of the mountain, where the debris 
cut from the deep excavation above has been deposited. But over such 
areas there is no Ibrest growth, nay, not even a solitary pine or a stunted 
cedar, the omnipresent artemisia being the only ligneous plant, if it can 
be called such. 

Passing northward from the central part of the Jefferson, we enter 
what Mr. Stuart calls the Eastern Central Basin, and which he describes as 
follows : This is drained by the Missouri Elver below the Three Forks, 
and above them by [the lower tributaries of] the Jefferson, the I^ortli 
Boulder, South Boulder, and Willow Creeks. It is also traversed by the 
lower portion of the Madison and Gallatin Elvers, which form a junction 
with the Jefferson in a fertile plain of considerable extent. It contains 
a large amount of arable laud, with a climate comparable with that of 
Utah, and is about one hundred and fifty miles long, north and soutli, 
by eighty, east and west. Its five x:)rincipal valleys are the following: 
The valley of the Three Forks ; of North Boulder ; of the lower i)art of the 
Jefferson ; of the Madison, and of the Gallatin, furnishing a larger amount 
^f farming land than the basin of the Beaver Head and tributaries.'^ It 
will be seen that I have included a part of this basin in the descriptions 
of the valleys already noticed. Mr. Stuart evidently includes the parts 
below the canons mentioned, in this basin. 

The valley of the Missouri along this part of its course is narrow, but 
quite fertile, possessing a very favorable climate. It is watered on the 
east side by numerous small streams, which flow down from the Beit 
Mountains. The interior of the basin is traversed by several sharp and 
elevated ridges,* the principal one, stretching from near the lower part of 
the JeffersoE a little west of north, connects with the Eocky Mountain 


Eange, near the origin of Prickly Pear Creek. The North Boulder 
runs along the western base of the ridge, through a valley of moderate 
width, while west of it runs another ridge separating its waters from 
those of White-Tail Deer Creek. These ridges are clothed with pine 
timber of an excellent quality. And along some of the sloj^es the rank 
vegetation indicates a greater degree of moisture than is usual in this 
region, especially on the divide which separates the Boulder from Prickly 
l^ear Valley. I noticed here the marks of a recent heavy rain, which 
had caused sudden torrents to rush down the indentations of the ridge 
which flanked the valley, tearing up the grass and pebbles and bearing 
them down to the base. Branching off from the first-mentioned ridge, 
near the center of Jefferson County, starts another ridge, which, running 
north, forms a divide between the Prickly Pear and the Missouri. 

Prickly Pear, and Ten-Mile Creek, its principal tributary, have very 
pretty valleys, which, though irregular and contracted at some points 
by the approaching ridges, at others expand into broad, open prairies, 
having surfaces as smooth as a meadow. One of these beautiful, 
meadow-like openings is in the vicinity of Helena, across which one 
may look from the city and see the noted landmark repeatedly men- 
tioned from the days of Lewis and Clarke down to the present time — 
the Bear's' Teeth, This valley is from five to fifteen miles wide, and 
some twenty or twenty-five miles long. Although rich and i)roductive, 
unfortunately the stream which traverses it only furnishes water sufii- 
cieut to irrigate a part of it. A proposition has been made to bring 
water from Jefferson Eiver, which is said to be practicable j but whether 
this will be carried out or nqt I am unable to say. The proximity to 
the chief city of the Territory would certainly render the land valuable, 
and such a canal would be useful not only for irrigation but also in con- 
nection with the mining operations. 

Major J. F. Forbes, who has been farming in this valley since 1865, 
and- has made the raising of vegetables for the city somewhat a spe- 
cialty, furnishes the following information in regard to its productions : 
^' Wheat, after the first few crops (wlrtch are generally heavy) have 
been cut, yields from 20 to 40 bushels to the acre, though as high as 82 
bushels have been taken from one acre j and entire crops have averaged 
52 bushels on fresh soil. One difficulty experienced is, that volunteer 
crops mix with those that follow ; this does no damage when feed- 
crops, as oats and barley, are raised ; but when wheat follows other 
crops the mixture injures its value. And it may be set down as a 
rule, with but few exceptions, that volunteer crops are, in the long run, 
an injury to any section. If these do no other injury they beget a thrift- 
less system of farming, under which the soil is deteriorated, and the yield 
becomes less and less and the quality inferior." 

Major Forbes says that the weight is usually about 60 pounds to the 
measured bushel. The average yield of oats is about 40 bushels to the 
acre; barley, 30; but the yield of the latter crop often is as great as 
that of oats. The following vegetables grow well, no difQculty from the 
climate being experienced in raising them : Potatoes, turnips, ruta-bagas, 
beets, cabbage, carrots, onions, i:)arsnips, pease, beans, and radishes. 
Tomatoes can be grown vnth care, but are liable to be injured by the 
frost before maturing. Spring-wheat is generally sown in March, and 
sometimes even as early as the last of February, which is certainly very 
early for this latitude; but even as late as May will answer. Harvesi 
usually commences in the latter i^art of July. When winter-wheat is 
sown, it is usually put in in September and October; but it generally 
eomes out too soon in the spring, and is liable to be bitten by the frost after 



jointing. CurrantSj gooseberries, strawberries, and raspberries do very 
well, tbeir fruit growing and maturing witbout any difficulty from tbe 
climate J in fact, tbe soil and climate seem peculiarly adapted to tbe 
growtb of tbe first two. Tbe native varieties of gooseberries and cur- 
rants bear transplanting witbout injury, improving under cultivation. 
Native raspberries and strawberries bave not been tried ; it may be tbat 
tbe former will bear transplanting, tbougb, as sbown in my previous 
report, tbe experiment failed in Colorado. Otber fruits, so far as tried 
in tbis valley, bave proved a failure ; but Major Forbes tbiuks tbat some 
varieties of tbe apple migbt succeed. He says tbat an experiment made 
witb bemp sbows tbat it grows remarkably well. He planted some seed 
in a yard in Helena, wbicb i-s some 400 or 500 feet above tbe valley -level, 
and some of tbe stalks grew to a beigbt of 10 or 12 feet, and as large 
round at tbe base as a man's wrist. He is now testing it on bis farm, 
and at tbe time I met witb bim (July 12 to 15) it was growing finely. 
He bas raised bemp in Missouri, and is satisfied, from bis experience 
witb it in tbat State, tbat it can be produced bere as easily and of as 
good quality as tbere. Tbe climate, be states, is variable ; often tbe 
w^eatber is mild and open at Cbristmas, but witb previous killing frosts; 
but at otber times winter commences mucb earlier. Snow does not 
generally set in until in December, and does not often fall in tbe valleys 
after Marcb ; it never falls to any great deptb, seldom euougb for good 
sleigbing. Tbis fact in regard to tbe fall of snow appears somewbat 
paradoxical to tbose wbo bave never visited tbose mountain regions. 
Tbey read and bear statements in regard to snow in tbe mountain 15 
and 20 feet deep, and tben in tbe next breatb are told tbat cattle 
can graze out all winter, tbe snow not being sufficient to prevent tbis. 
It must be acknowledged tbese statements do appear to be somewbat 
contradictory, yet botb are true an explanation of wbicb will be found 
in my former report. 

In order to aftbrd as mucb data as possible in regard to tbe valley 
under consideration, it sbould be stated tbat barometric measurements, 
taken in Major Forbes's door-yard, sbow tbe elevation to be just 4,000 
feet above tbe level of tbe sea. 

On tbe east side of tbe Missouri, in tbe bend wbicb tbis river makes 
bere, from a nortb to a nortbeast course, are two or tbree valleys, wbicb 
may be considered, in tbis connection, tbougb not strictly, belonging to 
tbe soutbern section. Nortb Deep Creek, wbicb rises in Belt Mountains 
and flows nortb to tbe Missouri, bas a valley some forty or fifty miles in 
lengtb, wbicb averages about tbree in widtb. At one place, for a distance 
of fifteen or twenty miles, it widens out to an average of five miles, but 
at otber points tbe spurs of tbe mountains close in upon it, rendering it 
quite narrow. Soutb Deep Creek gives a valley of twenty-five or tbirty 
miles in lengtb and four or five in widtb, at no point witbin tbis dis- 
tance being less tban two miles wide. Water sufficient to irrigate tbese 
valleys can be obtained from tbese creeks and tbeir tributaries, and 
near tbe moutb of tbe latter any deficiency can be supplied from tbe 
Missouri. Tbe soil is good, and considerable settlements bave already 
been made bere. 


Tbis section comprises all that part of tbe Territory lying east of tbe 
Eocky Mountains and nortb of tbe divide wbicb ^separates tbe waters 
of tbe Missouri from tbose of tbe Yellowstone. It is an extensive re- 
gion, stretcbing from east to w^est some tbree bundred and fifty or four 
iiundred miles, and varying in widtb, nortb and soutb, from one bundred 


to one hundred and seventy-five miles, including the north part of Deer 
Lodge, all of Choteau, and most of Meagher and Dawson Counties. 
With the exception of the portions occupied by Belt, JEIighwood, and 
Judith Mountains south of the Missouri, and by Bear's Paw and Little 
Eocky Mountains north, it is generally an open, treeless plain, gradu- 
ally descending eastward, with an average slope of 5 feet to the mile. 
But this descent differs very materially in the portions east and west 
of Fort Benton, that part west to the foot of the mountains having an, 
average descent of from 12 to 15 feet to the mile, while that easf has 
an average of less than 3 feet, if the barometric measurements taken 
along this line are to be relied upon. If this rate of descent east of 
Fort Benton is correct, it lessens, to a considerable degree, the prospect 
of redeeming any great portion of the plains, for it renders it impos- 
sible to reach the higher table-lands with water from the Missouri. 

Along the east base of the Eocky Mountains, from the British pos- 
sessions south to Sun Elver, there is a strip of arable land, about thirty 
miles -in width, which is well watered b}^ numerous little tributaries of 
Marias, Teton, and Sun Elvers. The descent here being somewhat 
rapid and these streams but a few miles apart, flowing in rather paral- 
lel lines, a large portion of this strip, which is about one hundred miles 
in length, can be irrigated and brought under cultivation. As it is yet 
wholly unoccupied, except by roving Indian bands, consequently no ex- 
I)eriments in farming have been made, by which we may judge of its 
climate ; but Mr. Hard, who has been traveling over this part of the 
Territory, summer and winter, for some years, states that the seasons 
are not severe, and that he is satisfied, from his knowledge of the cli- 
mate, that the hardier cereals and vegetables can be raised without 
difficulty from climatic influences. The grass is very good, and the 
■great buffalo herd of Eastern Montana, apparently fleeing before the 
Sioux, has, during the present year, been moving over into this region. 
The Marias Eiver, after it enters upon the plains, runs through a deep 
channel, bordered, in part, by broad table-lands, and x^^n'tly by long, 
sloping hills, a part of which, by the construction of long ditches, may 
be reached and irrigated and rendered suitable for agricultural pur- 

Teton Eiver is probably over one hundred miles long; its two 
branches, rising in the Eocky Mountains west of the Teton, flow round 
this hutte and unite at its east base. It has some good bottom-lands 
in its valley, which varies from two to six miles in width for a part of 
its length, but at other points is quite narrow. The bordering plains 
are generally undulating, but a part is composed of level table-lands, 
which are. from 50 to 75 feet above the valley-level. The stream is 
rather small, its average width being about twenty-five or thirty yards, 
but it is a constant runner ; its lower portion runs slowly, the descent 
being very slight. 

Sun Eiver, rising in the Eocky Mountains immediately w^est of Fort 
Shaw, runs east about seventy-five miles, passing by this fort, and 
empties into the Missouri. It forms the north boundary line of Lewis 
and Clarke County. The immediate and cultivable valley of this river 
varies in width from one to three miles, the soil being of the very best 
quality. There are terraces, at some points, flankin'g the bottoms, which 
are of moderate height, and may be reached by irrigating ditches, in- 
creasing the breadth of farming lands in this beautiful valley, which is 
considered one of the finest in the eastern part of the Territory-. The 
stream is about sixty yards wide, flowing rather swiftly over a gravel 
bed, seldom, if ever, overflowing its banks. There are, as yet, but few 


settlements in it. Fort Shaw, situated about six miles east of the 
Helena Guide Mountains, is the highest settlement in the valley. 
Lower down, about four miles, is the Sun Eiver crossing, on the main 
road from Helena to Fort Benton, around which there are several farms 
under cultivation. From this point to its junction with the Missouri, 
a distance of some twenty-five miles, the valley increases in width from 
three to five miles. There is some cotton-wood and aspen along the 
banks of the stream, but other timber is scarce, and will have to be 
hauled from the mountains. The higher table-lands, on the north and 
south, offer most excellent grazing fields, the soil being generally very 
fertile, that of the plateau on the north needing but irrigation to make 
it as productive as the bottoms of the vallej'. 

The following statistics, from the records kept at Fort Shaw, will fur- 
nish some data in regard to the climate of this part of the Territory : 

Monthly means of the tempet^ature for two years. 

January 2L28 

February 30.39 

March , . 36.58 

April 46. 51 

May , 56.04 

June 64. 98 

July 70. 22 

August 67.15 

September 54.04 

October 49. 12 

November 39.92 

December 26. 75 

Year 47. 33 

Average monthly and yearly amount of rain and melted snow for two years. 


August 27 

September 95 

October 75 

November 39 

December 33 

Year 8.951 


January 11 

February 24 

March 44 

April 54 

May 1.53 

June 2.63 

July .78 

This shows a very moderate climate for this northern latitude, com- 
paring, as has been asserted by Mr. Granville Stuart, very favorably 
with that of Utah ; the mean temperature of the seasons being as fol- 
lows: Spring, 46.38; summer, G7.45; autumn, 47.69; winter, 29.47. 

The amount of rain-fall during the growing season, from March to 
July inclusive, is 5.92 inches, less than one-third of what is necessary 
to supply ordinary crops. The monthly means of the winds for the 
range of two years was, without exception, from the west. 

The valley of the Missouri from the Three Forks to the mouth of Sun 
Eiver is very rich and fertile, but rather narrow, varying from three to 
eight miles in width ; but at some points the hills close in upon it, leav- 
ing but a narrow strip of bottom-land along the stream. The length of 
the valley between these points is about one liundred and fifty miles. 
It is tolerably well settled, the climate being mild and the productions 
as varied as any portion of the Territory. Wheat, oats, rye, barley, 
corn, and the usual vegetables grow well and iiroduce heavy crops, 
Helena receiving a large part of its supply of vegetables from this val- 
ley. Such fruits as apples, plums, cherries, currants, raspberries, and 
gooseberries may be grown and matured here, the climate presenting 
uo serious obstacle. 

As a general thing, after leaving the rapid descent near the base of 
the mountains, and entering upon the broad, open i)lains, the rivers of 
this section run in deep channels, which like great ditches traverse the 
plains, and are often for long stretches sunk from 100 to 150 feet below 
the surface. 



On tbe south side of the Missouri the most important basins within 
this section are those of the Judith and Musselshell Elvers. The Ju- 
dith Basin is a broad depression, spreading out for forty or fifty miles, 
and extending north and south about eighty miles. It is traversed its 
entire length by the Judith Eiver, which has three principal tributaries — 
West Eork, South Fork, and Big Spring Creek. West Fork is a short 
creek, afibrding a moderate valley, but in regard to which I received no 
satisfactory information. The valley of South Fork is very irregular, 
frequently closing up. It is about twenty live miles long, the ten miles 
next its mouth averaging two miles wide ; is generally quite narrow, 
here and there affording an open bottom sufficient for a few farms. The 
lands which flank this valley are more rolling and irregular than usual 
•in this basin, yet they are covered with good grass. Big Spring Creek 
has one leading tributary, Cottonwood Creek, which has a valley twelve 
miles long and from half a mile to two miles wide. The valley of Big 
Spring Creek is fifteen or twenty miles long and quite narrow, varying 
from half to one mile in width. The sujjply of water in all these valleys 
is sufficient to irrigate all the lands in the madapted to farming pur- 
poses. The area between the two last valleys consists of a level plateau 
about one hundred feet above tlie streams, and during the summer sea- 
son has a bright-yellow hue from the vast number of ReliantM which 
grow here. 

The Judith Valley proper is about eighty miles long, and varies in 
width from one to four miles. The bordering regions, as we approach 
the Missouri, grow barren and assume that appearance to which 
the name mauvaises terres, or " bad lands,'^ has been applied ; yet 
the surfiice is generally covered with a moderate growth of bunch-grass. 
Stunted pines and cedars grow along the Missouri from Fort Benton to 
tbe mouth of the Musselshell, for twenty or twenty-five miles back on 
the south side. 

From the mouth of the caiion on Musselshell below Fort Howie, for 
twenty-five miles down, is a very fine farming country, the valley aver- 
aging five miles in width, the soil good, and the climate favorable. Near 
the mouth of this stream the valley is narrow, being cut deep into tlie 
i^lains, the bottoms not averaging more than a mile or a mile and a half 
wide ; nor is the soil so good as along the upper portion. I could gain 
no information in regard to the intermediate part of this valley, but the 
bordering j^lains for a part of the distance, at least, probably consist of 
''bad lands," similar to those near the mouth of Judith Eiver, and along 
portions of the Yellowstone. 


This section includes the area within the Territory drained by the 
Yellowstone and its tributaries. Little is known in regard to its agri- 
cultural resources. The following account, obtained from Judge Hos- 
mer, of a voyage down this stream in a boat, contains, perhaps, all that 
has been ascertained in regard to it up to the present time. It was 
first published in the Herald, Helena : 

''The description of the lower valley of the Yellovrstone given by 
Captain Lewis, without being fall, is very accurate in geographical in- 
formation. I was able by it to anticipate our approach to the various 
landmarks, rapids, and the mouths of the various tributaries. In 
minor details it is deficient. Ko continuous account of this valley 
from the canon, twenty-five miles beyond Bozeman, to the mouth, a 
distance (by the stream) of eight hundred and twenty miles, has ever 



been published. For the first eighty miles, from the mouth of the 
caiion, the river is almost one continuous rapid, and numerous ledgy 
islands are scattered along, which furnish coverts for large flocks of 
ducks. The banks are generally abrupt, in many places precipitous, 
thickly covered with stunted pines. Occasional accumulations of debris 
spread out into small bottoms, covered with immense cotton-woods. The 
banks on each side rise gradually into lofty hills, but the vegetation is 
light. Long, high ranges of mountains approach the river on each side. 
The water here is pure and very transparent. The bends of the stream 
are long and straight reaches, where the eye can often follow it for six or 
eight miles. Dense thickets of willow grow along the margin and on the 
islands. The second day we came in sight of the vasL ridge of yellow 
sandstone, from which the river derives its name. This ridge appears 
to be about 300 feet high, and this part twenty miles long ; the bluff it 
forms being precipitous and the top covered with pines. The valley of 
the river here is greatly expanded, spreading out into alluvial bottoms 
six or eight miles wide, gradually rising into upland and foot-hills. The 
soil here is equal to that of the Gallatin; but the descent of the 
river is much less rapid than above, miles intervening without any per- 
ceptible inclination. The termination of this portion of the ridge is at 
an angle of the river, where it has worn a passage through the rock on 
each hand, exhibiting a sheer, bold precipice of stratified sandstone, 
very hard and of deep ocher color. The river is quite shallow where 
it crosses this ledge, which stretches off on the southwest side in a 
straight line across the valley for twenty or thirty miles. The bottoms 
here are extensive (between the ridge and river) and are susceptible of 
high cultivation. There are frequently long groves of cotton-wood. 
We passed through this marvelous ridge five or six times in traveling 
three hundred miles. In some places it follows the river for miles, cast- 
ing its somber shadow on the water. In others, it is curiously eroded 
into resemblances of towers, castles, citadels, &c. At the terminus of 
the ridge the river, increased to twice the size it has at the commence- 
ment, by the contributions of the Eose Bud, Clarke's Fork, and Big 
Horn, is fully one mile wide and very deep. Its waters turbid, its banks 
low, it rolls an immense volume of water down undisturbed by a ripple, 
through large, spreading meadows beautified by 'occasional trees and 
carpeted with a thick growth of grass. With the exception of a few 
rapids, some of which are formidable, this is the general character of 
the scenery until we approach the mouth of Powder Eiver. Here a 
sudden change takes place, and all at once we are ushered from the 
highest state of verdure to that of extreme, absolute desolation. Here 
commence thQ .mauvaises terres, and from this i:)oint to its mouth the 
same general features characterize the scenery as those found along 
the Upper Missouri, intensified, if possible, by frequent views of long 
burnt plains, seamed with immense ravines and dotted with enormous 
tables of baked clay. It is without exception the most horrible-looking 
country I ever saw. The hills and mounds of stratified clay along the 
bank of the river rise 1,500 feet, void of vegetation. The river is here 
a dark drab color, with shifting channels and numerous sand-bars. Its 
clay-banks for hundreds of miles exhibit on each side continuous veins 
of decomposed lignite. A railroad could easily be built along its course, 
except the one hundred and eighty miles from the mouth of Powder 
River downward. Above Powder River the obstructions are few and 
easily overcome. Three or four hundred miles would be through the 
largest and richest valley in Montana, yet unsettled, and not more than 
1,500 or 2,000 feet above the level of the sea." 



Without injustice to any otlier part of the West, it may truly be said 
of Montana that it is the best grazing section of the Rocky Mountaiu 
region. Not only are the open plains and prairies covered Avith rich and 
nuti'itions grasses, but also the smooth hills and naked mountain slopes, 
and the same rich carpet continues even beyond these far up into the tim- 
ber. Wherever a fire has swept up the mountain side, destroying the pine- 
trees, leaving the blackened stems and stumps to mark the place where the 
iorest stood, there springs up, in a marvelously short space of time, a tall, 
green grass covering every possible spot where it can gain a foothold. 
Here, as in other parts of the western country, as is well known, the ^ 
grass cures on the ground instead of rotting, remaining ih this state all 
winter, i'urnishing, in fact, a better food than if cut and cured. There 
is seldom any difficulty experienced on account of the cold or snows of 
winter ; many who have stock running on the prairies making no prepa- 
ration for winter-feeding, which is seldom necessary. Even in the 
upper part of Stinking Water Valley, where the climate is considered 
somewhat rigorous, not only the regular herds are wintered on the open 
pastures, but also cows pass this season Avith no other food than that 
they clip from the grazing-field, and, although regularly milked, come 
out in the spring in excellent condition. At one place I saw cows which 
had thus passed the winter on the range, giving milk the entire season, 
yet they were in such a fine condition that they would have made excellent 
beef; some of them gave as much as three gallons of milk morning and 
evening, as I can testify from personal observation. Notwithstanding 
this fact, cows command a very high price, the best bringing readily from 
eighty to one hundred dollars 5 this, no doubt, being due to the demand 
for stock cattle. Stock is rapidly coming into the Territory, which 
must before very long bring down this price. Cows begin to bear very 
young when running with the herd, it being no uncommon thing for 
them to have calves at fifteen and sixteen months ; in fact, a few in- 
stances have occurred where they have borne young before ceasing to 
follow the mother. 

I have received but few statistics in regard to the herds in this Ter- 
ritory. That of Messrs. Poindexter and Orr, on Black-Tail Deer Creek, 
at the commencement of the present season was stated to be as follows : 
2,467 sheep; 1,500 lambs; 1,500 cattle; 750 calves; 450 horses; and 75 


[The following very interesting letter from Professor G. N. Allen, in 
regard to certain methods of irrigation in Santa Clara Valley, Califor- 
nia, contains so many interesting statements in such a small compass, 
although appertaining to a section outside my field of observation, 
that I have thought best to give it in the clear and explicit language of 
the writer. 


Professor Cyrus Thomas : 
My Dear Sir : As promised when we parted, I give you herewith 


the results of my observations and inquiries in the San Jose Valley, or 
Santa Clara district, California. 

This valley is beautifally situated between the main Coast Range and 
one of its spurs, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and extends directly south 
from San Francisco Bay. It is about seventy miles in length by twenty 
in breadth, and ijresents a nearly level surface throughout. It boasts 
an intelligent and industrious population, and is certainly as highly 
cultivated as any other of the many lovely valleys of California. Near 
its center are located the handsome and enterprising cities of San Jose 
and Santa Clara. The water in this valley used for domestic imr- 
poses, and to some extent for irrigation, is derived chiefly from surface- 
wells or wells excavated in the superficial deposits, and is lifted by the 
inevitable and not unpicturesque ^' California wind-mill," though there 
are besides many artesian or free-flowing wells, which penetrate to and 
derive their supplies from a stratum lying at a much greater depth. 

Beiag desirous of obtaining my information from the most trustworthy 
sources, I called early on a Mr. Gould, to whom I had been recom- 
mended, and who cultivates a large fruit plantation near Santa Clara. 
This gentleman, whom I found to be as intelligent as he was enterpris- 
ing, very politely showed me over his extensive grounds, and freely 
answered my inquiries. Besides large vineyards and orchards, Mr. Gould 
has about forty acres of the small fruits, strawberries, blackberries, 
&c. These small fruits only are systematically watered by artificial 
means. To accomplish this he has three artesian wells of seven -inch 
bore and about 300 feet depth. Until recently all his wells have been 
free-flowing fountains, but in consequence of the greater number of 
wells now existing, and in part doubtless on account of the smaller 
amount of w.ater that has fallen as rain within the last two years, one 
of his wells at least has ceased to flow, and it has become necessary to 
raise the water by mechanical appliances. Horse-power was applied 
last year, but this year he has built a steam-engine. The engine is of 
twenty horse-power and cost $2,000. Working at about half its capa- 
city for fifteen hours i)er day, and at a cost in fuel and labor for the 
same time of four and a halt' dollars, he raises sufficient water, with a 
little aid from his free-flowing wells, to supply abundantly his small 
fruit-grounds. Application is made dail^- to certain portions only, but 
so that the v/hole forty acres sliall be watered about once a w^eek dur- 
ing the season of fruitage. His vines are planted seven feet apart. As 
to beets on alkaline soils his experience is that they attain a large size, 
but have a rank growth and coarse-grained texture. With regard to the 
amount of saccharine matter in such beets, he had no data. Mr. Gouid 
employs and prefers Chinamen as laborers. 

On the mountains, between Santa Cruz and Santa Clara, 2,000 feet, 
perhaps, above the valley of San Jose, grapes and other fruits do excel- 
lently well. The grapes especially are esteemed of excellent flavor, and 
are preferred to those of the plain. I w^as informed by Lyman Burreli, 
esq., who has a large ranch in the mountains, and who has also given 
much attention to grape and fruit culture, that he has uniformly taken 
the prizes at the State and county fairs. He i)lants Lis vines eight feet 
apart. They are not troubled with frosts, and the ground, he asserts, 
is much more moist at this season of the year (summer) than it is in the 
plain. He raises with success the Muscat variety, which, on drying, 
yield an excellent quality of raisins. Apples, plums, and apricots also 
do splendidly in his orchards. Vineyards on the mountains are usually 



sot on the open wild-oat prairie grounds, and they require no under- 
draining, staking, or irrigation. 

Mr. Quimby, ex-mayor of San Jose, informed me that south of that 
city artesian borings had not been free-flowing, the water not coming to 
the surface; that the most powerful fountains are near the bay at the 
north end of the valley, where, also, they are obliged to bore the deepest 
in order to reach the main gravel bed or w^ater stratum. Ilis own well 
at San Jose had never ceased to flow freely, and to furnish both his 
own gardens and several neighboring families with an abundant supply 
of water. Mr. Quimby thinks that it is desirable, if possible, to water 
the larger fruit-trees in the dry season, for else the roots will penetrate 
the ground so deeply in search of moisture that afterward, in the rainy 
season, when the ground is saturated with water, they will be drowned 
out, having no surface roots. This he mentioned as an inference from 
his own experience in the cultivation of fruit-trees, referring more 
especially to apple and peach rather than to pear trees. He thinks also 
that strawberries should be watered occasionally^ after the last picking, 
and that in some soils, at certain seasons, grape-vines should be simi- 
larly treated. In San Jose Valley some irrigate for the raising of garden 
or kitchen vegetables, but none for the wheat crop. 
Very respectfully, 



By Mr. Haskill, of RenOj Nevada. 

■ [On behalf of Mr. Haskill I should state that this short sketch was 
hastily drawn up by him in answer to a request made through Mr. G. W. 
Meecham, of Humboldt. I learn that, if desired, he v/ill, by the time 
your next report is to be published, prei)are a more thorough account of 
the agricultural resources of this young mountain State; but on account 
of the valuable information contained in these short notes, I have 
thought it best that they should be placed on record, and have therefore 
referred them to you. 


Truckee valley extends from a point a short distance below Verde, a 
station on the Centra] Pacific Eailroad, to Pyramid Lake, distant about 
sixty miles. It contains some very fine agricultural laud. Ics width 
varies from a few rods to several miles; at Truckee Meadow^s it widens 
out in circular form, and at this point contains over 10,000 acres of 
arable land. Elevation at the head of the valley 5,138 feet, gradually- 
descending to 3,933 feet at the foot. 

The Truckee Eiver, which courses its entire length, is a beautiful 
stream of x)ure water, abounding in trout. Lake Tahoe, its source, is 
famed for the clearness and transparency of its water. 

Washoe Valley, also, in Washoe County, lying mainly ten miles to the 
south of Truckee Meadows, contains some three or four thousand acres 
of land which can be rendered tillable by irrigation. Washoe Lake, at 
the head of this valley, is a sheet of clear water from six to eight miles 



in length and about three miles in width. This valley lies along the 
base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains proper. Several mountain streams 
flow into it on the west, and it is drained by Washoe Creek, which 
forms a junction with Hot-Spring Creek and flows into Truckee Eiver. 
Elevation about 4,(i00 feet. Climate mild, similar to that of the Middle 

Humboldt Yalley, extending from Humboldt Lake to Humboldt Wells, 
a distance of three hundred and eighty-four miles, embraces some fine 
meadow and agricultural lands. Outside of the river-bottoms, which will 
average a mile in width for a distance of sixty or seventy miles, it is prin- 
cipally sage-bush land, of sandy soil, but very productive when water can 
be found for irrigation. Numerous streams of water are found upon 
either side of the valley, rushing down the mountain gorges, all of which 
sink soon after leaving the mouths of the cailons. 

Big Meadows, about five miles above Humboldt Lake, containing 
about 5,000 acres of land, furnishes great quantities of grass and hay; 
it contains tillable land, and a fair quality of i)eat is found here, and in 
considerable quantities. Elevation, average of that of Humboldt Valley. 

Salt Valley is located thirty miles east of Humboldt Lake; contains 
about 100,000 acres of sage-bush and salt land. It is remarkable and 
valuable only for its immense salt-bed, which is inexhaustible. Suc- 
cessive layers of fine,. crystallized salt are found to the depth of several 
feet from the surface. Elevation of valley, 4,199 feet. 

Black Eock Valley, forty miles west of Humboldt City, contains 350,000 
acres of sage-bush and alkali flats, and volcanic matter lines the out- 
skirts. This valley is almost entirely destitute of vegetation. Elevation, 
4,900 feet. 

Quin's Kiver Valley, forty miles to the east of Black Eock, and distant 
fifty miles to the northward from Humboldt Valley, contains 115,000 
acres, a great portion of which is fine agricultural land. The valley 
itself has fine blue-joint and red-top grasses, and the surrounding foot- 
hills and mountains are covered with an immense growth of bunch-grass 
and white sage, and constitutes the finest cattle range in the Stat^. 
Quin's Eiver flows through it, and sinks in Black Eock Valley. General 
elevation, 4,850 feet. 

King's Eiver Valley lies twenty-five miles to the northwest of Quins 
Eiver, and contains about 75.000 acres of land. In every respect, except 
as to extent, the two valleys are alike, elevation being about the same. 

Paradise Valley is twenty miles distant, commencing ten miles north 
from Winnemucca, and contains 125,000 acres. Little Humboldt Eiver 
enters it near its head and pours down its center. This valley contains 
35,000 acres of meadow land, and yields a most luxuriant crop of blue- 
joint and red-top grasses and white clover annually. Outside of the 
grassland are large tracts of sage-bush land, which yield almost incred- 
ible crops of wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes. The yield of barley is 
from 50 to 80 bushels per acre. A number of small streams flow from 
the mountains on either side, and aflbrd abundance of water for irriga- 
tion wherever it is needed. About 3,000 acres are under cultivation at 
the present time, most of which has been tilled for the past six years, 
and without missing a crop. Various fruit-trees have been set out,, and 
with entire success. In short, the soil and climate render this valley 
most inviting to the emigrant seeking a place to build up a desirable 
home. Its elevation is about 4,500 feet. 

Pueblo Valley, sixty-five miles northward of Winnemucca, is twenty- 
six miles in length, and from ten to fifteen miles wide. The Ibot-hills 
and surrounding mountains are covered with bunch-grass, while fine 



tracts of tillable land are found in and at the mouths of the canons. A 
great number of mountain-streams flow down and sink in this valley. 
In these streams, as well as in Kiug^s Eiver and Quin's Eiver, and the 
creeks and brooks of Paradise Yalley, are found the most delicious trout, 
while the water affords means for Irrigation where it is required. Ele- 
vation, about 5,000 feet. 

Grass Valley, ten miles southeast from Winnemucca, is watered from 
the caiions on the east and west, and contains 50,000 acres, about 500 
of which only are now under cultivation, with the very best success to 
the husbandman. Wheat, oats, barley, and all kinds of vegetables grow 
in great abundance, though the amount of surface water is limited. 
Elevation, 4,300 feet. 

Eeese Kiver Valley is from eighty to one hundred miles long, and 
from two to eight wide, through which flows the river from which it 
takes its name. The river, except in seasons of more than usual snow 
and rain in the mountains, sinks before it reaches the Humboldt, at a 
I)oint near Battle Mountain, on the railroad. 

Fish Creek Valley, twenty miles west, contains four or five thousand 
acres of arable land, and west of this is Lone Hill Valley, which contains 
100,000 acres of sage-bush land suitable for cultivation, but now being 
sought after by stock-men for grazing purposes. Elevation, 4,800 feet. 

Clover Valley, south of Wells Station, contains about 100,000 acres 
level land. Some meadow land about Snow Creek and Lake. Eleva- 
tion, 5,700 feet. Nearly all good farming land, with water plenty. 

Thousand Spring Valley, east of Wells Station, contains about 70,000 
acres grazing land. Water abundant. Elevation, 5,950 feet. 

Grouse Valley, outlet of Thousand Spring, contains some good grazing 
and meadow land. Elevation, 5,600 feet. 

A minute description of each valley would be simply a repetition of 
words j for all the valleys above named in climate, soil, productions, and 
general appearance are very much the same. A sufficient supply of 
water for irrigation is the great want. This difficulty, however, can be 
obviated by artesian wells. The time is not distant when hundreds of 
thousands of acres will be brought into subjection by this means, and 
now, where there is nothing seemingly but a desert waste, broad fields 
of the cereals and inviting meadows will delight the eye and relieve the 
present monotony. The apples and peaches in the few orchards in 
Humboldt County are unsurpassed in their yield and the flavor of their 
fruit. That there is an abundance of water beneath the surface, only 
requiring necessity to bring it forth, has already been proven at the two 
extremes of the great Humboldt Valley. One has recently been bored 
fifty miles east of Wadsworth, on the line of the Central Pacific Eailroad, 
and is now yielding a constant supply of water, which it sends through the 
pipe four feet above the surface. Another at Kelton, begun and com- 
l)leted last week, sends up a fine stream several feet aljove the surface. 
The expense of boring thus far has proven quite insignificant, which 
fact, with results already achieved, will influence others in the same 
direction, and it is not unreasonable to believe, from vhat has been ac- 
complished, that the great need — water — will be supplied through ar- 
tesian wells. 

18 G S 




By R. S. Elliott. 

The treeless plains between tlie Platte and Arkansas Eivers may be 
said to extend from the ninety-seventh meridian of longitude to the 
Kooky Mountains. North of the Platte and south of the Arkansas the 
general features of the country are similar, but for the purpose of this 
report we need only have in view the region between the rivers. Its 
drainage is mainly through the Kansas Eiver, the numerous affluents of 
which afford, in pools or currents, the water-supplies which have enabled 
the buffalo to sustain himself in all its parts. Along some of the streams 
there are occasional groves and fringes of timber — ash, box-elder, cedar, 
cherry, cotton-wood, elm, hackberry, oak, plum, walnut, and willow j some 
of the species persistent to the mountains, but not iu numbers or distri- 
bution sufficient to change the character of the country from that of 
open, treeless plains, rising gradually from about 1,000 feet above the 
level of the sea at the ninet^'-seventh meridian to more than 5,000 feet 
at Denver. 

There is great uniformity in the surface of this immense inclined 
plane. The face of the country i^resents a series of gentle undulations, 
but there are no points of much elevation above the general surface, 
nor any great depressions below it. The geology seems to be in har- 
mony witli the surface features, as the earths and rocks of this vast 
region, five hundred miles in width, range from Lower Cretaceous, 
(Mudge,) on its eastern border, to the later Tertiaries of the Lake period, 
(Hayden and Newberry,) near the base of the mountains. 

Open on the north to the arctic circle, and on the south to the Eio 
Graude, with no mountain ranges or extensive forests to check atmos- 
pheric movements, the great plains must necessarily be swept by winds 
as freely as the ocean. In spring and summer the winds from the 
southward are most prevalent. In winter the winds are more frequent 
from the northward. In the autumn they are apt to be more variable, 
and at the same time of more gentle character. Wind from the west is 
seldom observed. The winds are often strong, but they cannot be 
classed with destructive gales. They come with a steady pressure, 
which may cause a frail building to tremble, but will not overturn it. 
Tornadoes and hurricanes seem to be unknown. There is no record or 
tradition of such manifestations. Local thunder-storms and heavy 
rains, over comparatively limited districts, are experienced as detached 
phenomena, but are apt to be incidents of a storm covering a large area, 
and moving eastward. Days of comparative calm and of gentle l3reezes 
often occur, when, perhaps, for a week the wind-mill is unable to work 
the pump at the water-station, but total rest of the atmosphere, except 
for brief periods, is rare. The climate is propitious to health and to 
comfort; for although changes of temperature are at times sudden and 
considerable, yet injurious results seldom follow them. 

As we pass westward from the ninety-seventh meridian, the atmos- 
phere is observed to be more arid. Within two hundred miles of the 
mountains, the deposition of dew is at times so light as to be of little or 
no service to the vegetation. The annual rain-fall is also less as we go 
westward, decreasing nearly in the ratio of distance until the divide is 
reached at and southwest from Cedar Point, in which vicinity there is 
supposed to be more rain than eastward in the i)lains or westward 



nearer the foot-Iiills. The natural effect of decreasing precipitation 
and increasing aridity is in some degree shown in the vegetation. The 
grama and buffalo grasses continue, together with the sunflower, 
solanum^ eupliorUaj and other plants, which are vigorous, nearly if not 
quite as far east as the ninety- seventh meridian; hut we find that the 
bhie-joint grass of Central and Eastern Kansas is less abundant, and 
that clcome, ipomea., cactus, artemisia, &c., enter on the more arid 
scene as if in their chosen liome. But no considerable part of the 
plains between the Platte and Arkansas is so arid as to be destitute 
of vegetation, although the change in the flora is rather distinctly 
marked as we pass from the middle of Kansas westward. 

Like any other extensive area, the plains exhibit a variety of soils, 
but the fertile greatly exceed in extent the unfertile districts. Loam, 
with greater or less mixture of vegetable matter, is the prevailing soil, 
the proportions of sands and clays differing greatly in different locali- 
ties. The patches of sand or gravel of meager fertility, or of alkaline 
clays, unsuited to general plant-growth, are very small in proportion to 
the whole area, and. with irrigation in some parts, and without it in 
others, the entire region would prove, on trial, to be productive, with as 
small a share of waste-land as some of the most favored States. The 
value of the plains for production is more affected by peculiarities of 
chmate than by poverty of soil. 


Twenty years ago the lands available for general agriculture west of 
the State of Missouri were sui^posed to lie in a belt of not more than 
one hundred miles in width, extending north and south. Even when 
the Territory of Kansas was organized, the whole area west of Missouri 
and east of the mountains was of doubtful value in public estimation ; 
and emigration was stimulated by political considerations rather than 
by correct knowledge or appreciation of the country. Beyond the nar- 
row belt, and stretching awa^^ to the mountains, was the unfruitful 
waste, as popularly estimated. Its possible future usefulness for 
pastoral purposes had been at times suggested, but the day for its 
actual occupancy, if ever to arrive, was regarded as far distant. The 
settlers, however, soon ventured beyond the supposed boundary of pro- 
ductiveness; and as they increased in numbers, the area of available 
lands was found to extend itself westward, as if to meet their necessities. 
The construction of the railway brought increased emigration, more 
accurate knowledge of the resources of the country, and a firmer confi- 
dence in its future. By 1870 settlements had stretched along the rail- 
way to points more than two hundred miles west from the State of Mis- 
souri. The pioneer had passed the boundary of the traditional '^desert 
at the ninety-seventh meridian, and in his march westward had found 
that the desert, like its own mirage, receded before him. Was his 
march to continue; and how much farther could soil, temperature, and 
rain-fall be relied on to rev>^ard cultiv^ation? These questions, important 
to the interests of the general public, as well as of the railway, could 
best be answered by experiments, and the directors of the comx^any 
ordered some such experiments to be made. 

In the spring of 1870, gardens were made at some of the stations, at 
distances between two hundred and thirty-nine and three hundred 
and seventy-six miles west from Kansas City ; the farthest westward 
being at Carlyle Station, 2.948 feet above the level of the sea. Seeds 


tried in tliese gardens germinated well, and the plants, with rude and 
imperfect culture, grew encouragingly. The results were satisfactory, 
although the destruction by insects was greatly beyond anticipation. 
Irish potatoes, for example, made vigorous growth, yet about the time 
of blooming were destroyed by a species of blister-beetle, (Epicauta cor- 
vina, Riley,) which proved to be a more formidable enemy than even 
the Colorado potato-bug. Sirring- wheat matured merchantable grain 
at Carlyle. 

In the summer and fall of 1870 a few acres were broken at each of 
the three following stations, on the Kansas Pacific Eailway, distant from 
Kansas City and above the level of the sea as follows : 


West from Kansas 

AboTe sea- 

Wilson, (now Bosland) 


2, 019 


Pond Creek 

These places are in the western half of the State of Kansas. All are 
in the present buffalo range ; all are in the region of short grasses j all 
are in the open, treeless plains, beyond the limits heretofore assigned 
to settlements. 

Wheat, rye, and barley were sown at each of these stations in the 
fall of 1870 5 at Pond Creek, September 28 ; at Ellis, October 20 5 and 
at Wilson, November 11. At Pond Creek the rye grew finely and 
matured a fair crop ; the wheat and barley were partially winter-killed, 
but the surviving plants made heads of the usual length, well filled with 
grain of good size and quality. At Ellis the promise of all the grains 
was excellent until the 1st of June, when a hail-storm of unusual severity 
prostrated every stem. At Wilson the grains all did well. The presi- 
dent and the secretary of the Missouri State board of agriculture (who, 
in company with members of the board, visited the stations in June) s?iy 
in their report; " We found wheat, rye, and barley sown November 11, 
1870, [at Wilson,] equal to if not beyond the average crop of any part 
of the Union." And of Pond Creek they say: ^'The rye, sown 28th of 
September, on raw ground, would rate as a good crop in Missouri or 
Illinois; and of the winter- wheat and barley, the plants which had sur- 
vived the winter were heading out finely. Eye may be regarded as a 
valuable crop to the west line of Kansas, (without irrigation ;) and fur- 
ther trials of wheat and barley of the more hardy kinds will, in all prob- 
ability, be successful." 

Trials of grass-seeds at the stations named have shown that sorghum, 
lucerne, timothy, clover, and Hungarian grass maybe regarded as future 
forage crops on the plains; the first and last being the most promising. 
Maize can be grown for fodder at each of the stations, and for its grain 
at Wilson and Ellis. At Pond Creek, sorghum made a good length of 
stalk and matured fine panicles of seeds. At Ellis and Wilson the 
stalks reached a height of nine to ten feet, and abundance of seeds were 
matured. This plant will be found to be of great value in Western 
Kansas and Eastern Colorado, if its usefulness for fodder has not been 
greatly overrated. In the dry atmosphere of the plains, the stalks 
could probably be dried so as to avoid the souring of the juice, on which, 
in Illinois, an objection has been raised to its use as a fodder-plant. 




There were planted at Wilson tree-seeds as follows : 

Fall O/1870. — Ailantus, chestnut, oak, peach, pecan, innon. 

Spring of 1871. — Ailantus, catalpa, elm, locust, honey -locust,. silver- 
maple, osage-orange, walnut. 

All these seeds, except the pinon, (nut-pine of New Mexico, Pinus 
edulisy) have done remarkably well. 

Seeds of ailantus, catalpa, locust, honey-locust, and osage-orange 
were tried at Ellis with encouraging prospects, when most of the seed- 
ling trees were destroyed by the hail- storm of the 1st of June. Seeds of 
ailantus, sown broadcast during the first week in June, came up well, 
and the little trees came safely through the summer. 

Seeds of ailantus sown at Pond Greek resulted in a moderate growth 
of trees, of which a large proportion survived the summer. 

The experiments with tree-seeds, though very limited, have sufficed 
to show that trees may be grown from seed without irrigation, to the 
west line of Kansas, and in all probability to the base of the mount- 

Cuttings of cotton- wood, Lombardy and white poplar, and white and 
golden willow, were tried at Wilson and did well in that locality. Cut- 
tings of cotton-wood and the willows were also tried at Ellis with a 
measure of success. 


Trials were made at Wilson of transplanted trees of the following 
kinds : 


White pine Pinus strohus. 

Scotch i)ine P. sylvestris. 

Austrian pine P. Aiistriaca, 

Corsican i^ine P. laricio. 

Norway spruce Abies excelsa. 

Ked cedar Jimiperus Virginiana. 


Ailantus A. glandulosa. 

Ash Fraximis Americana. 

Box-elder Negundo aceroides, 

Catali^a C. hignonoides. 

Chestnut Castanea vesca. 

Cotton- wood Pop ulus moniUfera. 

Elm TJlmus Americana. 

Honey-locust GleditscMa triacanthus. 

EurojDean larch Larix PJuropea. 

Linden Tilia Americana. 

Silver-maple Acer dasycarpum. 

Sycamore-maple A. pseudo-platanus. 

Osage-orange Madura aiirantinea. 

Lombardy poplar Populus dilatata. 

White poplar P. alba. 

Tulip-tree .Liriodendron tulipifera. 

White willow. Salix alba. 

Golden willow .Salixalba, (var.) 

Walnut . . ■. Juglans nigra. 



The foregoing trees, whether transplanted or from seeds or cuttings, 
have done well at Wilson, making growth equal to what is usual in 
Eastern Missouri or Illinois. Eeverend E. Gale, one of the regents of 
Kansas State Agricultural College, examined the trees on the 18th of 
August and reported measurements as follows : 

From seed. — Ailantus, 24 to 30 inches ; catalpa, 3 to 12 inches j chest- • 
nut, 4 to 12 inches; elm, 10 to 20 inches; locust, 36 to 48 inches; honey- 
locust, 16 to 24 inches; silver-maple, 12 to 24 inches; oak, 8 to 10 inches; 
osage-orange, 12 to 30 inches; peach, 24 to 30 inches; pecan, 4 to 9 
inches; walnut, 10 to 12 inches. 

-From cuttings. — White poplar, 12 to 27 inches; Lombardy poplar, 24 
to 36 inches; cotton-vvood, 18 to 24 inches; white willow, 24 to 36 inches. 

Transplanted. — Ailantus, 48 to 60 inches; ash, 10 to 16 inches; box- 
elder, 36 to 40 inches; catalpa, 12 to 24 inches; chestnut, 8 to 14 inches; 
cotton-wood, 36 to 60 inches; elm, 20 to 30 inches; honey -locust, 36 to 42 
inches; larch, 6 to 12 inches; linden, 9 to 18 inches; silver-maple, 24 to 30 
inches; sycamore-maple, 12 to 24 inches; osage-orange, 12 to 36 inches; 
peach, 30 to 36 inches; white poplar, 24 to 36 inches; Lombardy poplar, 
24 to 36 inches ; tulip-tree, 8 to 10 inches ; willows, 36 to 48 inches ; wal- 
nut, 6 to 8 inches. 

Mr. Gale says: "The evergreens have nearly all lived, and have made 
a growth of from 4 to 8 inches. All have done well. There is certainly 
nothing in the appearance of these trees to discourage the planting of 
evergreens in Kansas." It is proper to state that the catalpa-seed 
was sown broadcast on ground which had been broken the November 
previous and was not replowed. Seedling walnuts were grown by put- 
ting the seed under fresh-turned sod. None of the trees had the care 
or cultivation usual in nurseries. 

At Ellis the same transplanted trees were tried as at Wilson, except 
red cedar and cotton-wood. The result was encouraging, although the 
chestnut, larch, and Norway spruce may be said to have failed on this 
first trial, and some others were less vigorous than at Wilson. The 
hail-storm of 1st June greatly damaged the trees, cutting off the leaves 
and shoots and splitting the bark; yet a large proportion of the decidu- 
ous class made a fair growth, and about 50 per cent, of the pines sur- 
vived. Of ailantus, ash, catalpa, honey -locust, and white poplar pUmted 
at Ellis every tree survived, and nearly all of the box-elder, elm, silver- 
maple, osage-orange, Lombardy poplar, and black walnut. 

At Pond Creek the growth of some kinds of trees was highly 
encouraging. Ailantus, ash, box-elder, catalpa, honey-locust, and osage- 
orange have done best, and promise well for the future. Elm and black 
walnut made moderate growth, and seem to have established themselves. 
The willows, the poplars, and the silver-maple did not come up to 
expectation. European larch and most of the evergreens failed; but a 
few of the pines lived through the summer, and in another season will 
probably do well. The trees at Pond Creek are in one of the most for- 
bidding spots of all the i:>lains. At the new station, Wallace, about two 
miles eastward, and on higher ground but with different soil, silver-maple 
and Lombardy poplar seem to do much better than at Pond Creek. 


The experiments were all without irrigation. Except to soak some of 
the seeds, or to i)uddle the roots of the trees as they were set out, not 
one drop of water was applied by human agency. The trees had not 
tbe benefit of good care and cultivation; they were not aided by mulch- 
ing the ground ; nor had they any shade or shelter from the winds. All 



the conditions of tlie experiments were such as the ordinary farmer 
may easily imitate. 

One object was to test the possibility of growing trees and other plants 
on the i)lains depending on the rain-fall alone. It was deemed import- 
ant to show that the settler in the open waste may adorn his home with 
trees ; may grow fruits and timber j may raise grains and other vegetable 
food for his l^mily and his live stock without resort to expensive pro- 
cesses of artificial watering. So far as we may judge from a single 
season, the object has been accomplished; and it is not doubted that 
future years will sustain the ijromise of the past season. 


Within the past two years settlers, in families and colonies, have 
spread westward, along the line of the Kansas Pacific Railway, and 
also on streams north and south of the road, nearly to the one hun- 
dredth meridian. The purpose is generallj^ to grow and deal in cattle 
and other live stock, and 'this i^urpose will be greatly aided by the 
capability of the country to i)roduce grains and other products of gen- 
eral agriculture. The first settlers keep near the streams, as a general 
rule, for the convenience of water ready at hand and the limited sup- 
X)ly of timber. If we look backward twenty-five years and reflect on 
the westward extension of settlements during that time, we must see 
that the causes which have pushed the " frontier" nearly three hundred 
miles west from the mouth of the Kansas Eivef are yet in active opera- 
tion, aided by potent agencies not then in existence. Then the locomo- 
tive was unknown west of the Mississippi ; noio there are in Iowa, Mis- 
souri, Nebraska, and Kansas thousands of miles of railroad. Then the 
entire population of the United States was only about twenty-one mil- 
lions; ?iOi(? it is over forty millions. It is safe to say that the forces 
operating to throw population westward, taking into consideration 
facilities of transportation, are three times as powerful as they were 
twenty-five years ago. The result will be a gradual spread of people 
over the great plains, arranging their pursuits and modifying their 
habits to suit the capabilities of the country and the necessities of their 
respective localities. 


It is a bold assumption to say that the spread of settlements over the 
plains is to materially affect the climate. Yet it is not unreasonable 
to expect some degree of amelioration. Every house, every fence, every 
tree which civilized communities may in the future establish in those 
vast, open areas, will aid, in some measure, to check the sweep of the 
winds. Every acre broken by the plow will retain a greater amount 
of moisture after rains, and for a longer time, than the unbroken prairie. 
The genial rains of spring and summer will evaporate with less rai:)idity, 
and there will be a greater degree of humidity in the atmosphere, 
heavier dews, and i^ossibly more frequent showers. Even if the annual 
average of rain-fall shall not be increased, the chances are that it will 
be more evenly distributed. If we may judge by the experience of 
other parts of the world, where the destruction of forests has operated 
to dry up fountains, we may reasonably expect that the breaking up of 
the surface by the plow, the covering of the earth with taller herbage, 
and the growth of trees, will all tend to the development of springs 
where now unknown, and to render streams perennial which are now 
intermittent. Thus the gradual spread of inhabitants over the plains 
will tend to enlarge their capabilities and to render them more 



FOSSIL FLORA.— By Leo Lesquereux. 


OF KANSAS.— By E. D. Cope, A. M. 



D. Cope, A. M. 

OF WYOMING.— By Prof. Joseph Leidy. 

B. Meek. 



GoLTOiBUS, Ohio, February 28, 1872. 

Dear Sir: In accordance with your instructions I liave prepared 
tlie following report on the specimens of fossil plants obtained in your 
geological explorations of 1871. I regret that the time alloAved to me 
for the examination of such a large number of specimens, (more than 
three hundred,) and the preparation of the report, was too short. This 
may account for, if not excuse, the deficiency of this pajier. 

The first part of the report contains the descriptions of eighty species 
of fossil plants, mostly of the Tertiary formations. To obviate the want 
of plates and figures, I have quoted largely from already described and 
figured species, either analogous or identical, this being the best way 
to give an idea of the forms of leaves, always more or less obscurely 
conceived from mere descrii)tions. 

The general remarks on geographical, stratigraphical distribution, 
typical comparisons, &c., which form the second part of the report, are 
presented as a mere summary of questions which should be elucidated 
with more details when your fossil plants of the recent formations are 
published in a general report and the descrij^tions illustrated with 

Yery respectfully, yours, 


Professor F. Y. Hayden, WasMngton^ D. (7. 


1. Henry's Fork. 

Hard silicified limestone, with indistinct remains. 

Pteris PENN^FORMis, Hccr. A number of broken specimens of the 
fern referable to this species, have been re-examined, without affording 
more evidence to what has been said in the former report, p. 384. It 
differs from the following species, found also on broken specimens of 
this locality, by its thicker secondary veins, more obliquely attached to 
the medial nerve, and by its entire borders. 

Bleciinum Gopperti, Etting, (Flor. Bil., p. 14, PI. iii. Fig. 1-4.) 
Fragments of linear leaves, half an inch broad, with dentate borders ; 
secondary veins nearly in right angle to the thick medial nerve, paral- 
lel, forking once near the base, and much thinner than those of the for- 
mer species. Though the specimens show mere fragments of leaves, 
the specific characters are well marked. 

A third species of fern is preserved on the shales of this locality. It 

* See Report of the Territories, 1870, p. 384. 



is a single small oval leaflet, 12 millimeters long, 6 millimeters broad, 
rounded to the point and to the base, with narrow but distinct medial 
nerve, and secondary veins, oblique, slightly arched to the borders, 
forking twice. The base of the nerve is abruptly bent to one side, as if 
it had been joined to a main racMs, or as a lobe of a compound leaf. 

PnRAGMiTES Oeningensis, A1. Br. Eepresented by broken stems, 
with distinct nervation, obscure articulations, and scars of branches 
bearing the characters of this species. 

Fragments referable to the genus Cyperites and to the genus Calam- 
opsis, C?) as described in my former report, loc. cit., p. 384. 

2. Muddy Creek and Blake's Fork. 

^nTo remains of other species but of those described in the former 
report have been discovered in the examination of new specimens of 
these localities. Aspidiuyn^ named A. imlchellum^ or A, FiscJieri, Heer, 
belongs to this last species; and as far as can be ascertained from frag- 
ments of glumaceous leaves, the species considered as Carex tertiaria^ (?) 
Heer, loc. cit., p. 384, is right. 

3. Barrell's Springs. 

The matter imbedding fossil remains of this locality appears under 
three different aspects : 1st. A ferruginous, reddish, hard clay-shale, 
with few remains of trees. Sequoia., Acer. 2d. A soft, laminated shale, 
passing downward to layers of coaly matter, formed of broken pieces 
of grasses, ferns, &c., all herbaceous plants, with floating rootlets. 
3d. A soft, yellow clay, apparently a bottom dny, with roots of Equise- 
tacecc. The succession of deposits from bottom upward is marked by 
the substance of the shale as by the kind of plants which they have 

Ly'Godium ^^europteroides, Lsqx, (Dr. Hayden's Report, 1870, 
p. 384.) Separate leaflets onl^^, with fragments of stems of the same 
species, are abundant in the shales. Leaflets bifid, trifid or quadrifid, 
with linear lanceolate obtusely pointed divisions, 4 to 8 decimeters long, 
from the obconical base of the leaflets to the point of the longest lobes. 
The leaflets are divided, from below the middle, in lobes irregular in 
size, the lateral ones being generally shorter, all obliquely diverging 
with more or less obtuse sinuses and entire or slightly wavy on the 
borders. Sometimes they are enlarged at the point and emarginate in 
two short, obtuse lobes. The nervation is simple for each division of 
the leaflets, the medial nerve of each remaining distinct to the base 
and there, being separated by secondary flabellate veins, which higher 
up come out from the medial nerve in a very acute angle, and remain 
nearly parallel to it before curving to the borders. The lowest veins 
are three to four times dichotomous, the superior ones only twice, and 
so close are they to each other that, along the borders, 75 to 80 veinlets 
are generally marked in one inch. The areas are filled by square or 
pentagonal areolae., very small but distinct. As yet few fossil species 
have been referred with sufficient evidence to this fine genus. Lygodi- 
um cretaceum, Debey and Etting., is from the Cretaceous formations of 
Belgium. Four other species are described by Heer, from the Miocene 
of Switzerland, and one from Oeningen. 

Equisetum Haydenii, sp. nov. Ehizoma, IJ to 2 decimeters broad, 
irregularly striate, articulated; articulations distant, bearing round 
obovate tubercles, 14 millimeters broad, 2 centimeters long, attached 8 to 


10 around the articnlations. These tubercles, joined to each other like 
striugs of beads, radiating from the rhizoma, are slightly more elongated 
outside, abruptly rounded or more inflated inward, regularly and nar- 
rowly striated as well as the rhizomas, but scarcely, if at all, "^^rinkled. 
At a distance from the point of connection to the rhizoma they become 
more elongated, passing here and there to mere cylindrical filaments or 
rootlets, which appear to divide in radicles. The point of union of these 
tubercles, either to each other or to the rhizoma. is marked by com- 
X:)aratively large scars, (5 millimeters wide,) representing a double ring 
with a central i)oint. This fine species, knowm as yet only from its rhi- 
zoma and its divisions, resembles Eqimetum arcticum, Heer, (Fi. Arc, 2, 
J). 31, PI. i. Fig. 2,) from Spitzbergen, and still more, at least by the form 
of the tubercles ij. Farlatori, Heer, as figured by linger, in Sill., PI. i, 
Fig. 5, differing, however, from both by the broader, regularly striated 
rhizoma, not inflated at the articulations, and by the form and size of 
the tubercles. No other fragments referable to any species of Uquisetum 
have been preserved in the shales of this locality. 

Taxodium Tina jorum, (?) Heer. The specimen has two branchlets 
of Taxodmm^ l^arallel to each other, apparently divisions of the same 
branch. One bears long, crowded, linear leaves like those of this species, 
as figured in Heer's Fl. Arc, 2, p. 22, PI. i, Fig. 3, from Alaska; the 
other has more distant and broader leaves, somewhat enlarged in the 
middle, or narrowing at the base like those of Taxites OlriM, Heer, loc. 
cit, PI. i, Fig. 8. The substance of the leaves is, in both fragments, of 
the same thickness, the surface smooth or shining, the branches com- 
j)aratively thick and flat. In the upper part of the fragment compared 
to the last species of Heer, the leaves become longer from the base up- 
ward, as in the figure of T. Olriki ; our si)ecimen, therefore, appearing 
to represent both species. 

Phragmites Oeningensis, A1. Br. The shales of this locality are 
covered by a quantity of much- divided roots and rootlets, with thread- 
like branches of the same form as those figured by Etting., Flor. Bil., 
PI. iv. Fig. 7 1). With them are mixed fragments of rhizomas, of stems 
and of leaves of the same species, which are well characterized by their 
nervation, as marked in Heer's Fl. Ter. Helv., PI. xxiv. Fig. 5 &, 

PoACiTES L^vis, Heer. As remarked in Dr. Hayden'sEeport for 1870, 
p. 385, this species is represented by many fragments of the culm and 
of the leaves, identical in characters with the author's description and 
figures in Fl. Tert. Helv., PI. xxv. Fig. 10 a, Z>, c, and PI. xxvi. Fig. 7 a. 
The culm is about 7 millimeters wide, nearly smooth, with close undis- 
tiuct stria3; the leaA'es, slight!}^ narrower, are marked by about 10 more 
distinct smooth lines. 

Cyperus (!) Braunianus, (?) Heer., (Fl.Tert. Helv., p. 72, PI. xxii,rig. 
6.) There is scarcely any doubt on the identity of this species, repre- 
sented like the former by numerous though small fragments. The stems 
are generally small. One of them bears attached to its curved base or 
rhizoma, some oval tubercles with round small scars like those of Fig. 
6, PI. xxii, of Heer's loc. cit. 

Cyperites Deucalionis, Heer. Mentioned in Dr. Hayden's Eeport 
for 1870, p. 384, with fragments of leaf of a >S'«&a? referable to iS. major, (?) 

Sparganium, (!) species. Part of a dichotomous stem, IJ centimeters 
"Wide, with the branches half as broad, distinctly marked lengthwise by 
regular thin veins, separated by three undistinct very thin veinfets, and 
marked crosswise by obscure less regular lines, indicating the internal 



structure of the stem, remains of leaves, fruits, or flowers have been 
found in connection with the fragments of stem, and therefore the 
species is undetermined. It may be referable to Spargankim Valdense, 
Heer, which it resembles by the nervation and the mode of branching, 
as seen in Fl. Tert. Helv., PI. xlvi, Fig. 6 h. 

Acer, species. Is represented, like the former, by a single fragment 
too incomi)lete for specific determination. The round, cordate base 
only, with a small part of the middle of the leaf and its nervation, is 
preserved. It appears to be of the same type as Acer Sismondce^ Gaud., 
(1st Mem., PI. 13, Fig. 4,) agreeing with this last figure for the outline 
of the leaf and for the nervation, and by its size comparable to Fig. 21, 
PI. i, of the 4th Mem., of the same author. I mention this leaf because 
it is the only fragment of an arborescent dicotyledonous species preserved 
on the shale of this locality. 

4. Elko Station. 

A yellowish white calcareous fine-grained shale, hardened by meta- 
morphism. Plants i)reserved in broken, small, mixed fragments. 

Phragmites Oeningensis, A1. Br., in numerous fragments of leaves, 
stems, and rhizomas. 

Poacites lcevis, Heer. Eepresented like the former, by a great num- 
ber of broken leaves, with smooth surface, often without trace of veins. 
The blades are mostly narrower than in the figures- of this species, in 
Heer's loc. cit; intermediate in width between those of Poacites lcevis 
and P. augustuSj Heer, (Fl. Ter. Helv., PI. xxvi, Fig. 7 a and or even 
as narrow as in the last-named species. 

Quercus semi-elliptica, Gopp., (Schossnitz, FL, p. 15, PI. vi. Figs. 
3, 4, 5.) There are four specimens of this species, one of which only 
represents an entire leaf with all the specific characters. The form 
of the leaf, with its slightly unequal base, the nervation, the teeth of 
the borders, are exactly similar to Fig. 3, loc. cit. The leaf is only smaller, 
half an inch long, one-fourth of an inch broad. Of the other specimens, 
all fragmentary, one only indicates a somewhat larger leaf. Professor 
Heer refers (Fig. 4, quoted above) to Planer a Ungeri; and, indeed, our 
specimens much resemble some forms of this polymori)hous species, and 
might be referred to it but for the base of the leaves narrowed to the 
X)etiole by a short curve. The nervation, also, is somewhat diflerent, 
the secondary nerves branching often downward above the middle, as in 
species of Ulmus, and the lowest secondary veins curving near the bor- 
ders and along them, though their angle of deviation is about the same 
(40^) as in the upper ones, which go straight to the point of the teeth. 
The veins and veinlets are flat and deep, nervilles not quite distinct, but 
marked as perx)endicular or oblique to the veinlets. 

5. Washakie Station near Bridger's Pass. 

A calcareous and arenaceous stone, hardened by metamorphism, dark- 
gray, irregularly breaking. Eemains of plants preserved in large distin- 
guishable fragments, sometimes rolled or even flattened in a direction 
crossing the horizontal layers of the stone. 

EiiAiMNUS iNTERiMEDius, sp. nov. Leaf 6 centimeters long, not 
quite 2 centimeters wide, narrowly oval, lanceolate and oblanceolate, 
with entire margins tai^ering downward to a short petiole, (?) (petiole 
broken,) medial nerve half ronnd, strong, secondary veins oblique, (35^,) 
close to each other 3 16 pairs from base to point, thick, curving near . the 



borders, straight to the point of curve. By its closely approached sec- 
ondary veins this species is like Rhamnu's ohovatiis, Lesqx., (Am. Jour. 
Sci., vol. XLV, p. 207,) but differs by the greater thickness of these veins, 
which more abruptly curve near the borders, and the more lanceolate 
form of the leaves. From Bhamnus salicifolius, Lesqx., loc. cit.j p. 206, 
to which it is also comparable by its form, our leaf differs essentially 
by its closer nervation. 

CoRNUS ACUMINATA, Newby. One of our specimens agrees with 
dewberry's leaf as figured, (PI. xx. Fig. 3, ined.,) the secondary veins 
only being less numerous and ascending along the borders in a less 
acute angle. As the same differences are marked also between the 
three specimens figured by the author, they do not authorize a specific 
separation. The leaf seems to have been of thin texture, at least not 
coriaceous ; the medial, like the secondary veins, are comparatively nar- 
row, not as distinctly marked as they are generally in species of this 
genus. Another specimen of the same locality represents Fig. 2 of the 
same plate. It is broken and not as well i^reserved as the former. 

PopuLUS LATiOR var. TRANSVERSA, Hccr. A leaf of the same form, 
size, nervation, and marginal division as the one represented in Heer's 
Fl. Ter. Helv., PI. Ivii, Fig. 6. It is also equally runcinate. 

Ficus TiLiiEFOLiA, Al. Br. The specimen represents an entire leaf, 
less the base and the point. It is broadly cordate, lanceolate-pointed, 
with entire borders, medial and lateral veins strong, these mostly oppo- 
site, the lowest much divided by inferior branches going out at an open 
angle from the medial nerve and then curving upward in a half circle 
and ascending along the borders ; nervilles perpendicular to the second- 
ary veins, strong, continuous. Though somewhat broken, the speci- 
men represents evidently this species as figured by Heer, (Fl. Ter. 
Helv., PL Ixxxiii, Fig. 7.) The leaf in its broadest part is 3 inches 

JuGLANS RUGOSA, Lesqx. Broken specimen. 

Platanus Haydeni, (!) Xewby. Also an incomplete specimen, refera- 
ble by its size and nervation to this species. Its base, however, is not 
decurrent to the petiole, but merely wedge-shaped. The fragment of 
this leaf is 6 inches long. 

Magnolia, (!) species. The middle part of a large leaf of Magnolia, 
2J inches wide in the middle ; the upper and lower part being broken. 
The leaf is apparently broadly ovate-lanceolate, resembling by its form 
and the direction of the secondary veins Magnolia Jngleficldi^ Heer, in 
Fl. Arc. I, PI. xviii. Figs. 1 to 3. The medial nerve is narrow though 
deep, the secondary veins diverging more or less under an average an- 
gle of 30O, and at variable distance, some simple, some forking from 
above the middle, separated here and there by thinner intermediate 
secondary veins. 

PopuLUS arctica, Heer. Identical with the form figured by the 
author in Arc. Fl. I, PI. v. Fig. 3^ the borders being merely undu- 

Liquid AMBAR gracile, sp. nov. Leaf comparatively small, a little 
more than 2 inches long, broader than long, palmately, nearly equally 
five-lobed j lobes conical-pointed, separated by obtuse sinuses, the low- 
est nearly continuous to the truncate or slightly oblique basej petiole 
as long as the leaf. This species might be referable to the genus Acer 
by its nervation, which resembles that of Acer dasijcarpon^ Ehr. It has 
only three primary nerves, diverging from the top of the petiole, and 
each of the lateral ones divides, near the middle or at a distance from 
the base, in two branches of equal size^ which both support one of the 


lateral lobes and ascend to its point. The secondary veins as seen 
near the point of the middle division are close to each other, curving 
along the borders, but the areolation is obsolete. The border of the 
leaf is entire, and though the lobes on one side are curved down into 
the stone, and on the other side partially erosed, the outlines of the 
whole leaf are easily made out. 

QuEiicus yt:mulans, sj). nov. A large leaf, 4 inches long, 2 inches 
wide, broadly oval, (point and petiole broken,) gradually curving to 
the base, with borders equally dentate from below the middle upward, 
entire or merely undulate downward; medial nerve narrow, deep; sec- 
ondary veins irregular in distance and direction, (angle of divergence 
about 40^,) slightly curving upward, nearly simple, craspedodrome; a 
species not satisfactorily knoAvn as yet, related by the form of the leaf 
to Quercus furcinervis, Heer, as figured in Fl. Arc, I, PI. xlv, Fig. 1 d, 
but far different by the irregularity of the secondary veins curved in 
ascending to the borders and by the sharp teeth turned up from an 
obtuse sinus, as in the leaves of our Castanea ])umila. The leaf is twice 
as large as that of Heer. 

JuGLANS ACUMINATA, (?) Heer. The point of a leaf, from the middle 
upward, merely differing from the general form of the species by the 
longer tapering point of an apparently narrow leaf. Probably repre- 
sents an inferior leaflet of this species. 

6. Washakie Group, Creston, W. T. 

Soft, greenish clay, a kind of soapstone, easily cut with the knife. 

ACORUS BRACHYSTACHYS, Heer, (Fl., Spitz., p. 51, Tab. viii, Figs. 7 
and 8.) A fragment of the same size and form as the branch figured on 
the left side of PI. viii. Fig. 8, bearing also a small sessile ear of the 
same size. In one specimen part of the seeds have been detached from 
the receptacle, and thus the spiral direction of the axis and the mode of 
attachment of some of the seeds are distinctly seen. 

Paliurus Colombi, Heer. (Fl. Arc, I, p. 122, Tab. xvii. Fig. 2, and 
PI. xix, Figs. 2 to 4.) Numerous leaves of the diiferent forms represent- 
ing this species and other varieties are preserved on our specimens. 
The smallest leaf is 22 millimeters long and 14 millimeters broad, ovate, 
lanceolate-pointed, narrowed by a curve to the petiole. This form has 
generally the borders marked by one or two obtuse teeth above 
the middle. The more general form of the leaves is broadly ovate, ab- 
ruptly narrowed to an obtuse point, with the base rounded to a long 
jDCtiole and the borders entire, generally equilateral, but sometimes more 
enlarged on one side. The nerv^ation is the same as marked by the au- 
thor, loc. cit. It has three primary nerves, the lateral ones ascending to 
three-quarters of the leaves, curving inward and there anastomosing 
with branches of the medial nerve. But when the leaves enlarge, they 
bear at the base a pair of thinner marginal veins, which in still broader 
leaves become as thick as the primary lateral ones, ascend in the same 
direction, and give the leaf the same appearance as that of some leaves 
of Foimliis arctica. Our specimens have branches of the same species, 
bearing petioles of leaves and spines j also pieces of bark with oval scars 
of spines close to each other, and small oval seeds or nutlets, surrounded 
upward with an oval, flattened border, like a narrow wing. The areo- 
lation is rendered distinct by the erosion of the parerichyma of some of 
our leaves. 



7. Medicine Bow Coal-Beds. 

riue-grained, grayish sliale, separating in horizontal layers ; remains 
of plants distinct. 

Phkagmites Oeningensis, Heer. A fine stem, with articulations, 
scars of branches, &c. 

PopULUS LATion var. cordifolia, A1. Br. The same form as that 
from Alaska, in Heer's Fl. AL, p. 25, PI. ii. Fig. 4. 

PopuLUS ARCTiCA, Hecr. Same form as in Fl. Arc, I, PI. v. Fig. 11. 

Platanus Guillelm^e, Gopp. As in Ileer's Fl. Arc, II, PI. xlvii. 
Fig. 3; a species represented by our specimens in manj^ of its varieties. 

Plat ANUS Haydenii, Kewby., (PI. xx. Fig. 1, ined.) The form of this 
leaf is like that of Platanus Ueteropliylla^ Newby., in PI. xxi. Fig. 1, ined., 
with the same nervation also ; but it has the obtuse, large teeth of P. 
Ilaydenii', the leaf is, however, much smaller j may be referable to 
Flatanus Guillelmcv. 

8. Green River Group, high on Hills from River. 

Coarse-grained, yellow, hard limestone shale, with few remains of 

Ceanothus cinnamomoides, sp. nov. Leaf narrowly elliptical, 
pointed to the base, distinctly and distantly crenulate upward from 
above the base ; medial nerve slightly thicker than the lateral ones 
which ascend from the base of the leaf, and nearly parallel to the borders 
to apparently to three-fourths of the leaf, which is obliquely broken above 
the middle. The medial nerve has no trace of secondary veins as high 
as it is discernible, but merely strong, nearly horizontal nervilies, very 
distinct, like the netting of the areolation ; much like Ceanothus Zizi- 
phoides, Ung., chloris esi^eciallj" as figured by Heer, (Fl. Ter. Helv., 
PI. cxxii. Fig. 25.) It differs by the borders, more distantly crenulate 
in the upper part only, and by the base of the leaf, which is entire and 
does not pass downward beyond the point of divergence of the lateral 

Oarya Heerii, Etting. A few fragments of leaves of this species, 
especially of the form and nervation marked in Fl. Ter. Helv., PI. xcix, 
Fig. 23, a. 

9. Junction Station, Su]\uviit of Hills, near Divide, north of 

Snake River. 

Hard silicified limestone. 
- Platanus Guillelm^, Gopp. 

PopULUS ARCTiCA, Heer. Both represented by mere fragments. 

10. Point of Rocks Station, Union Pacific Railroad. 

Brown ferruginous clay, with small fragments of plants, mostly unde- 

Cyperites. Numerous fragments heaped in various directions, refer- 
able to Cyperus Deucalionis, Heer; C. Chavancnsis, Heer j and C. angus- 
tior^ Heer. (?) None distinct enough for identification. 

Fagus Antipofii, Heer, (Fl. Alas., p. 30, PI. vii, Fig. 4 to 8.) An 
apparently ovate, long-pointed leaf, with straight, nearly parallel, slightly 
diverging, oblique secondary veins. These are simply craspedodrome 
and the point where they reach the borders is marked by very small 
19 G s 


mucronate teetli. A few of these veins branch near the point as in Fagm 
DeucalioniSj Ung. 

Small fragments of Juglans and of Platanus. 

11. Coalville, Utah. 

A single specimen from this locality ; a piece of hard metamorphic 
sandstone, with scattered, small fragments of dicotyledonous leaves, none 
of which are large enough to be recognizable even for generic reference. 

12. Carbon Station, Union Pacific Eailroad, Wyoming Ter- 


Fine-grained shale, same color and compound as at Medicine Bow. 

Platanus aceroides, Gopp. A Avhole large leaf, far different from 
the leaves of the following species by the borders rounded to the petiole 
and not tapering, by the angle of the secondary veins more open, and 
by the form of the much broader leaves. 

Platanus Guillelm^e, Gopp. Among others there is a large speci- 
men covered with nearly entire leaves of this species, showing its vari- 
ous forms. The leaves are all more or less trilobate, with short lateral 
lobes 5 the base is more or less open, cuneiform to the petiole and entire, 
always descending lower than the base of the first pair of secondary 
veins. The secondary veins are narrow, but well marked ; the texture 
of the leaves is rather thin than coriaceous; the fibrilles somewhat obso- 
lete, but in some leaves very distinct. Specimens of this species are 
not distinguishable from the following. 

Platanus Haydenii, Newby. Same leaf as described from Medicine 
Bow, p. 289. 

Carpolithes Cocculoides, (?) Heer, (Fl. Arc, II, p. 484, PL lii,Fig. 9 
and 9 h.) A small obovate fruit, obliquely truncate at its narrowed 
base, about 1 centimeter long, nearly as broad, evidently a thick drui)e 
or achcniu7nj as the stone is excavated around it on one side. It re- 
sembles the fruit of an Acer, without the wing, or could be compared to 
the fruit of a Prunus but for its unequal base, more contracted on one 
side than on the other, much like Heer's figure, loc. cit. 

13. Sage Creek, Montana Territory. 

Fine-grained, buff-colored, hard, laminated shale, split in thin layers, 
with few fragments of vegetable remains and some scales of fishes. 

A Fern, undeterminable fragments, of exactly the size and form as 
the one published by Heer, (Fl. Arc, II, PI. xlviii. Fig. 3 h,) and merely, 
mentioned as Fern from North Greenland. The surface is covered with 
a pulverulent coaly matter, obliterating the nervation. The medial 
nerve only is visible on our specimen, while it is not seen on the frag- 
ments obtained from Greenland. 

Sequoia Heerii, sp.nov. We have numerous and well-preserved 
specimens of this species. It agrees well enough with the small 
forms of Sequoia Langsdorjii, Brgt., figured in Fl. Arc, I, PI. ii. Fig. 15, 
but differs evidently by shorter and narrower, more distant leaves, all 
narrowed above the decurring base, and, as observed upon the same 
'branches, either pointed or obtuse. Some even are enlarged upward 
and obtuse j some abruptly pointed. The cone is borne on long, naked 
branches, marked with undistinct scars of scales j its form is nearly 
round, slightly flattened, resembling the cone of >S'. Lcrngsdorfii, in 



Fl. Arc, I, PI. ii, Fig. 2, but nearly twice as large. To this species is 
referable tbe form which Heer, in Fl. Alas., p. 23, PI. i, Fig. 10 and 10 
considered as possibly a variety of 8. Langsdorfil, and perhaps also the 
branches figured as S. Langsdorfii^ (?) by Newberry, PI. xi, Fig. 4, iued. 
In this, however, the base of the leaves is decurrent, without being nar- 

There is still a great deal of uncertainty about the relation of the 
fragments of coniferous species, published from our Tertiary strata 
by the authors quoted above. The remarks of Dr. Newberry, con- 
cerning the deciduous appearance of leaves and brauchlets of his 
species, are, in part, applicable to our fragments from Sage Creek j 
but in the form which lie has observed from Yellowstone, (Notes on 
the Later Extinct Floras, &c., pp. 40 to 48,) the leaves are much longer, 
decurrent, without narrowing at the base, as in the living species of 
Sequoia. If, therefore, this form of decurrent leaves is to be considered 
as a generic character, his species is a true Sequoia. Our leaves, nar- 
rowed at base, though evidently slightly decurrent, have the same 
character, and are besides associated with cones of Sequoia ; but they 
are sometimes abrui)tly pointed and short, like the leaves of what Heer 
names Taxites mierophylliis, (Fl. Alas., p. 24, PI. i, Fig. 9,) or narrower, 
longer, ensiform, distant, nearly as in Taxodium Tinajorum, Heer, PL i, 
Fig. 1, loc. cit. All the specimens, representing our species, as described 
above, are mere small branchlets of annual growth; but as all are 
bearing leaves, like the branches figured and described from Yellow- 
stone, it is a proof that the leaves were not deciduous, as in Taxodium. 
I think, therefore, that this character of decurrent leaves is rightly con- 
sidered as generic, and distinctly separates the fragments of Sequoia; 
but that the form, length, &c., of the leaves are, as yet, unreliable for 
specific distinction. 

QuERCUS iLicoiDES, (?) Heer, (Fl. Ter. Helv., II, p. 55, PI. cli, Fig. 25.) 
The specimens represent three broken leaves of the same species, which 
only differ from each other by their width and the size of the marginal 
divisions. The largest is an exact representative of Heer's figure, loc. 
cit. The borders are deeply, i)innately lobed, with sharp pointed lobes, 
separated by round sinuses. In the other fragments, which are much 
narrower, the lobes are less marked and the borders become merely 
wavy, with sharp but short teeth. The nervation is obsolete, the 
secondary veins being slender and scarcely discernible. They appear 
to pass obliquely to the point of the lobes, sinuous, and connected to 
shorter, intermediate veins. The leaves are bordered by a narrow, flat- 
tened, cartilaginous (?) margin, as the leaves of species of Ilex. By this 
character, as by their form, these fragments might be considered as 
representing a species of this genus, resembling especially Ilex Studeriy 
Heer, (loc. cit.. Ill, p. 72, PI. 122, Fig. 11 ;) but their nervation is that of a 

14. EvANSTON, Utah, (below the Coal.) 

Reddish, ferruginous, hard shale, breaking in the line of stratification, 
containing abundant remains of plants, generally flattened leaves, with 
surface blackened by a thin coat of coaly matter ; details of nervation 

Cyperus Chavanensis, (?) Heer, (Fl. Ter. Helv., PI. xxviii. Fig. 1.) A 
flattened stem, 1 centimeter broad, without any articulation, smooth 
or obscurely striate, with primary veins thick, varying in distance and 
separated by very thin secondary veins, as in Fig. 1 F, loc. cit, is 
referable to this species. 



POPULUS OYALiSj (?) G(3pp., (SchossnitZj FL, p. 23, PI. xvi, Fig. 1.) A 
fragment, only the middle part of a leaf, with crenate borders, and ner- 
vation of this species, or of Popidus eximia, of the same author, loc. cit., 
Fig. 2. 

PopULUS MUTABiLis var. EEPANDO-CRENATA, Heer. Agrees in every 
point, form of leaf, nervation, &c., with Heer's Fl. Ter. Helv., PI. Ixii, 
Figs. 5 and 6. 

PopuLUS Zaddachi, (?) Heer. Apparently a small form of this species, 
at least referable to it by the nervation; the borders of the leaf being- 
destroyed. The licrvation is like that of the leaf, PI. v, Fig. 4, of Heer's 
Baltic Flora. 

Alnus Kefersteinii, Gopp. There is a large number of specimens of 
this species, with the leaves of the same characters as those figured by 
Heer in Fl. Alas., PI. 3, Figs. 7 and 8, and also in Fl. Arc, I, PI. xxv, 
Fig. 9. Some of the specimens have remains of small seeds and of scales 
resembling those of this species. 

CoRYLUS McQuARRYi, Heer, (Fl. Arc, I, p. 104.) The author has 
given numerous figures of this variable species. Two forms are especially 
marked, one with large leaves, having a deeply cordate base, and more 
distant secondary veins ; the other with smaller leaves, rounded, slightly 
cordate at base, and more closely approached secondary veins. Both 
these forms, and their intermediate, as figured in Fl. Alas., Tab. iv, are 
represented by our specimens. 

QuERCUS Negundoides, sj). nov. Leaf thick, about two inches long, 
cordate at base, enlarged upward to the three-fourths of its length, 
where it is palmately cleft in three lobes, the two lateral shorter and 
obtuse, the medial longer and pointed ; borders undulate crenate ; peti- 
ole half an inch long; medial nerve narrow; secondary veins, about five 
pairs ; angle of divergence, 35^; the lowest pair not as thick, and slightly 
more arched tlian the upper ones ; all craspedodrome, and nearly oppo- 
site ; a remarkable form. difTering from all the species of oak known to 
me, by its palmately cleft leaves. It is distantly related to Quercus tri- 
angularis^ Gopp., (Schossnitz, FL, p. 15, PI. vi, Figs. 13-17,) and some- 
what resembling a Negundo by the form of the leaves and nervation. 

Quercus Drymeja, Uug., var. (?) Leaves liuear-lanceolate, gradually 
narrowed to the petiole,* medial nerve broad and flat; secondarj^ veins 
in an open angle, more open toward the base, curving along the entire 
merely undulate borders. We have two specimens of this form, one 
representing a whole coriaceous leaf, two inches long, half an inch broad, 
tapering upward into a long point, with a petiole half an inch long. 
All the leaves referred to this species by the author in his Chloris, 
and by Heer, also, in Fl. Ter. Helv., have the borders regularly dentate. 
Even this character is considered by Unger as an essential one of his 
species. Our leaves, on the contrary, have entire borders, and secondary 
veins more open, as in Quercus Neriifolia^ Heer. I am, therefore, in 
doubt if this form is a mere variety of Unger's species, though Heer, in 
Fl. Arc, PI. xi. Fig. 3, has, from Greenland, a leaf with more open veins 
and undulate or scarcely dentate borders, which he considers as a 
variety of Q. Drymeja; and Gaudin, in 2 Mem., Fl. Foss. Ital., describes 
and figures numerous leaves of this Quercus to characterize his multiple 
varieties, one of which, Q. Drymeja var. integra, {loc. cit, PL iv, Fig. 22,) 
exactly agrees in form and nervation with our leaves. 

Fagus Deucalionis, Ung. The same form is figured in Heer's FL 
Arc, PL X, Fig. 6, and PL xlvi. Fig. 4, with this difference only, that 
one of the secondary veins of our leaf bears two small tertiary branches, 



like Fagus CastanecvfoUa, or Fagus Atlantica, Vug;. This casual devia- 
tion of simi)le nervation is often marlved in species of this genus, and 
our leaf, having the borders entire except in the upper part, where they 
are merely undulate, or scarcely toothed, is referable to this species. 
The secondary veins are more distant than in any other fossil species 
of this genus. 

Betula (!) CAUDATA, (?) Gopp. Two fragments of large leaves of this 
genus, whose upper part only is preserved. Their form is ovate-lance- 
olate, long pointed, of the same size and of the same nervation as the 
leaf represented under this name in Gopp., Schossnitz, FL, p. 10, PI. iii, 
Fig. 5. But the exact form of the teeth of the borders is not well 
recognizable, and therefore the identity of our leaves with the European 
species is not ascertainable. 

Betula Stevensonii, sp. nov. Leaves small, no more than 2 
inches long, ovate or broadly ovate, tapering to a short point, rounded 
cordate at base, with borders abruptly curved downward to the short 
(1 centimeter long) petiole, distantly and simply dentate from near the 
base to the point; medial nerve distinct and narrow; secondary veins 
opposite or alternate, five to seven pairs, (angle of divergence, 40° to 50°,) 
passing like their branches to the point of the teeth; veinlets well 
marked, perpendicular to the secondary veins. A true Betula, rer)re- 
sented by many si)ecimens, and differing from all the known fossil 
species by its aljruptly rounded base. The secondary veins are not as 
straight as in our living American species, from which it differs also by 
the simply toothed or serrate borders. Eelated to Betula primceva, Web., 
(Pal., vol. 4, p. 21, PI. V, Figs. 4 and 5.) 

Andromeda Grayana, Heer. Our specimens represent this species 
with the borders slightly more curved outward in reaching the petiole, 
which is a little shorter. The essential nervation is the same, the areo- 
lation obsolete. One of our specimens bears a branch with buds, just 
like the one figured by Heer in his Foss. Fl. of Vancouver Island, PI. 1, 
Fig. 9 h. 

DiosPiROS LANCIFOLTA, Lsqx. Numcrous leaves, varying in width 
from 1 to 1^' inches, proportionally long, lanceolate-pointed, tapering 
downward to the petiole. The substance of the leaves, transformed in 
a pellicle of coal, is thick or coriaceous, nervation distinct, secondary 
veins running along the borders, as marked in the figure given of this 
species, by Heer, in Fl. Alas., PL iii. Fig. 12. The intermediate veinlets 
are very thin, the areolation still smaller, but of the same type as in the 
figure loe. cit. The size of the leaves is variable, generally smaller than 
the leaf of this species from Vancouver, even as small as that of leaves 
of Andromeda Grayana, which these diminutive forms resemble. 

CoRNUS Studeri, Heer, (Fl. Ter. Helv., III., p. 27, PI. cv. Figs. 18-21.) 
A large leaf, of which the base is destroyed, but whose form and pecu- 
liar nervation are in concordance with the characters of this species. 
Our leaf is similar to figure 18 of Heer's, loc. cit. 

Acer trilobatum, A1. Br. A broken leaf, whose outline is mostly 
destroyed. The substance of the leaf is thin; the nervation of the same 
type as in Acer trilobatum var. productum, Heer; the lateral lobes 
appear short and obtuse. 

Ehus Evansii, sp. nov. Two entire leaves of this species and many 
fragments. They are related to those of Rhus Meriani, Heer, (Fl. Ter. 
Helv, III., p. 82, PI. cxxvi. Fig. 5 — 11,) being, however, shorter and pro- 
portionally broader, more distinctly denticulate and short-petioled. 
The nervation is that of Fig. 7, loc. cit, which represents a leaf with 
more distinctly serrulate borders. As the leaves of Rhus Mcriani are 


very variable in size and form, tlie difference remarked in the form of our 
leaves could scarcely authorize a specific separation but for the short 
petiole which they bear, a character of rare occurrence in species of this 

JuGLAT^s EHAMNOIDES, sp. nov. Lcaves oval, tapering nearly 
equally upward to a point and downward to a short i)etiole, entire, 
varying in size. Two leaves preserved in their whole are 4 inches long 
and 1| inches broad. A fragment, with point and base of the leaf 
broken, is nearly 4 inches broad, with borders apparently rounded 
toward the base. Veins thin but distinctly marked ; secondary veins 
equally distant and parallel; 10 pairs, oblique 40^, curving from the base 
in going to the borders, and more still near the borders, which they 
closely follow in dividing; nervilles distinct, thick, more or less contin- 
uous and branching. It is ditficult to decide if these leaves of ours are 
referable to Juglans or to Rhammis. Professor Pleer, in his Arctic Flora, 
I, p. 123, PI. xlix, Fig. 10, has a leaf so much like the best preserved 
one of Dr. Hayden's specimens that it looks like a copy of it; except, 
however, that in Heer's figure the secondary veins oblique to the me- 
dial nerve, ascend nearly straight to near the borders, where they ab- 
ruptly curve and divide. The author says that but for the more 
straight secondarj^ veins his leaf should be considered a Juglans. Tliere- 
fore these curved secondary veins of our species identify" it to this genus. 
But in the leaves which represent it, the secondary veins are closer 
to each other, more exactly parallel, running also nearer to the borders 
than in any species of Juglans; except, i)erhaps, Juglans acuminata^ Al. 
Br., which, in FL, Alas. ; PI. ix, Fig. 1, is represented by Heer with leaves 
of a more regular nervation, and secondary veins going nearer to the 
borders than in any other figures of this species. This new species is, 
therefore, closely related to Juglans acuminata, Al. Br. As it bears 
still the same relation to Juglans rugosa, Lsqx., and Cornus acumi- 
nata, Newby, these three species may be mere varieties of that poly- 
morphous Juglans acuminata which has been found over the whole 
extent of the Tertiary formation of both continents as far as they are 

Juglans appressa, Lsqx., (Trans. Am. Phil. Soc, vol. 13, p. 420, 
PI. XX, Fig. 0. Undoubtedly the same species represented by two speci- 

Carya antiquorum, ^'Tev/by.' (Extinct Fl. jST. A., p. 72, PI. xxiii, 
Figs. 1 to 4, ined.) Two large leaves referable to this species. There 
are still in the collection of Dr. Hayden some specimens of leaves of a 
Carya, G inches long, 3J inches broad, broadly ovate-lanceolate, rounded 
and narrowed downward to a thick, long petiole, with serrulate borders, 
&c., which differs from the figures and description of the species by 
a thick medial nerve, by secondary veins much more open near the base, 
by the borders rounded to the base, and by the broader size of the 
leaves. The differences may be merely resulting from the position of 
the leaves, as lateral or terminal leaflets of a compound leaf. 

15. EvANSTON, Utah, (above coal.) 

Shaly, whitish sandstone, with few remains of leaves ; outlines and 
primary nervation only distinguishable, details of structure obscured 
by the coarseness of the stone. 

CiNNAMOMUM SciiEUZERi, Heer. Same form of leaf as the variety 
figured by the author in Fl. Ter. Helv., PI. xciii, Fig. 2, with details of 
nervation as marked Fig. 5 of the same plate. 



Plat ANUS nobilis, Newby. A number of specimens, mere fragments 
of a very largo leaf, with nervation of this species. The leaf is still 
larger than the beautiful specimen described by Dr. Newberry, loc. 
cit., p. 06, PI, xvii, ined. 

liHAMNUS RECTiNERVis, Heer, (Fl. Ter. Helv., Ill, p. 80, PI. exxv. 
Figs. 2-G.) The leaves representing this species are as large, even 
larger, than the greatest leaf (Fig. G) figured from European si)ecimens. 
The secondary veins are nearer to each other, or more numerous, at least 
15 i)airs in a leaf of the same size as that of Fig. G. But those differ- 
ences are of no specific value, fragments of other leaves of the same 
showing a variable distance between the veins. The borders of the 
leaves are entire, except near the point, where they are sometimes den- 
ticulate. The secondary veins, deeply marked, slightly curved in going 
out from the medial nerve, ascend straight to the borders in an angle 
diverging 25° to 30o. 

Caepolithes lineatus, Newby., (PI. xxv, Fig. 1, ined.) Appa- 
rently the same kind of nut, as yet undescribed. All Dr. Ilayden's 
specimens, fouud in great numbers scattered in the sandstone, are more 
or less flattened, round-oval in outline, marked with thin strice, but 
without the point as in the figure loc. clt, which would indicate them 
as fruits of a Corylus. The name of the fruit is therefore preserved ; 
but its relation to species of our present vegetation is as yet unknown. 
They are apparently referable to i^alms. 

16. Divide between the Source of Snake Eiver and the 
Southern Shore of Yellowstone Lake. 

A grayish, fine-grained, hard shale, breaking in layers, with few 
remains of plants. 

Gymnogramma Haydenii, S]). nov. A fine fern, with a frond sl])- 
parently tripiunate; j?>i?im', long, linear-lanceolate, gradually decreasing 
to an obtuse point, pinnately divided toward the lower i)art in alternate 
linear-lanceolate, obtuse innnules or lobes, enlarged downward in a 
broad, decurring base, distantly serrulate, and disconnected nearly to 
the main rachis ; toward the upper part of the pinnce the divisions 
become shorter and broader, about triangular-obtuse in outline, con- 
nected from the middle ; near the point they are united nearly in their 
whole length, x^assing to a terminal, small, obtuse leaflet. The nervation 
is not quite distinct 5 medial nerve, thin, well marked in the lower divis- 
ions, becoming obsolete in the ui)per ones; secondary veins very oblique 
to the medial nerve; the lowest ones coming out from the main rachis, 
at least in the largest decurrent divisions ; all dichotomous in ascending. 
The substance of the leaves is thick, and the vein lets appear to be ren- 
dered obsolete by particles of pulverulent matter hardened into coal. 
By the form of its divisions, this species is related to tSpliempteris Blom- 
strandi, Heer, (Fl. Arc, I, p. 155, Tab. xxix, Fig. 1-5, 9«,) from the Miocene 
of Spitzbergen, differing essentially by its nervation, which is more like 
that of Gymnogramma tartarea, Desv. Even in the mode of division and 
the form of the lobes, this last species, especially in specimens obtained 
from cultivation, resembles the fossil plant. The small, badly preserved 
fragments obtained from near Gold City, and considered with doubt as 
a Lathrwa in Am. Jour. Sci., March, 1868, ly. 207, is probably referable 
to this species. 

Sabal major, (?) Ung. This specimen has only broken parts ot 
lateral rays and the undistinct point of the rachis (?) of a Sahal. It 
represents a large species ; may be JSahal Campbclliij (?) Ncwby. 



DiospiROS STENOSEPALA, Heer, (Fl. Alas., p. 35, PL viii, Fig. 8.) One 
leaf only, with the point destroyed as in the specimen from Alaska, but 
satisfactorily identified by its form and peculiar nervation. The medial 
nerve is broad and grooved, the secondary veins, with angle of diverg- 
ence 50^, curve from the middle upward and along the borders with 
thick tertiary and intermediate fibrillse. The leaf is shorter and pro- 
portionally broader than the leaves of i>. lancifolia. 

Besides tbe named species, the shales have undeterminable fragments 
of Foimliis, Bhamnus, Jiiglans, &c. 

17. Mouth of Waem Spring Canon. 

Fine-grained, gray sandstone, hardened by metamorphism ; only two 
specimens, representing one species. 

QUERCUS Gaudini, Lsqx., (Am. Jour. Sci., May, 1859, p. 360.) 
Described from an imperfect specimen from Bellingham Bay, and figured 
by Gaudin (Fl. ItaL, 2d Mem., PI. vi. Fig. 5) from European specimens. 
Gaudin's species does not appear to agree exactly with the American form, 
but rather to be a variety of Qiiercus Scillana, Gaud., as he sui:)poses it. 
The base of our leaf is not rounded, but gradually narrowed j the point 
is lanceolate or tapering ; and the secondary veins, thick at and near the 
base, and curving, enter the upturned ]3oint of the distant small teeth. 
The afQnity of this si>ecies is with Quercus Brymeja, Ung., as figured iu 
Heer's Fl. Ter. Helv., (PI. Ixxv, Fig. 18.) 

18. Six Miles above Spring Canon and Top of Hills between 
Fort Ellis and Botteler's Banch. 

Dark-greenish, coarse-grained shale, breaking in every direction, hard- 
ened by metamorphism. 

Piir'agmites Alaskana, Heer, (Fl. Alas., p. 24, PI. v. Fig. 12 and 12 b.) 
Two specimens, agreeing in every point with the author's description 
and figure. The distance between the longitudinal veins is 1 millimeter, 
with intermediate veinlets, extremely thin and somewhat obsolete ; the 
size of the leaves is also the same. Professor Heer supposes that this 
form m.ay be a variety of Fhragmites Oeningensis. The discovery in our 
American western Tertiary formations of remains of exactly the same 
characters as those which separate this form is i)roof of its specific 

PopuLiTS LEUCOPHYLLA, Ung, The specimens represent this spe- 
cies in various of its forms as figured in Gaud., Fl. Ital., 1st T>Iera., 
]). 20, PI. 4, Fig. 1-5. It appears of common occurrence in our Tertiary 
strata. Heer has published it from Alaska, and Dr. Newberry's Fopuliis 
acerifolia (Am. Lyc. Nat. Hist, of New York, vol. 18, p. 05, PI. xiii, Fig. 
5-8, ined.) is referable to it. 

POPULUS MUTABiLis var. LANCIFOLIA, Heer. Two entire small 
leaves, the largest one 2J inches long, ovate-lanceolate, obtuse, thick, 
coriaceous, with distinct nervation of the species 5 the other scarcely 
half as long, nearly oval, with undulate borders and undistinct nerva- 
tion. These leaves are more obtuse than any of the numerous forms 
figured by Heer of this polymorphous species 5 but there is no other 

Salix Gro^nlandica, Heer, (Fl. Arc, I, p. 101, PI. 4, Fig. 10.) 
Two specimens representing only the lower half of a leaf, agreeing with 
the description and figure of this species. The leaf appears of a thick 



texture, and tlie nervilles are not distinct as in tlie specimen from 
Greenland. This is probably the result of the coarseness of the stone. 
One of the specimens bears two fragments of leaves of this species, one 
of which has tlie secondary veins more distant, as in 8. Grcenlandica, 
while the other has them mucli more approached to each other, just as 
they are in Salix Eheana, Heer, figured on the same plate. Fig. V2, with 
nervilles discernible. I consider both species as identical. 

Myrica ambigua, sp. nov, A species represented by three incom- 
plete specimens. Leaf apparently long, (point broken,) linear-lanceolate, 
narrowed to the base, in an outward curved line, about 2 inches broad, 
or less, the other specimens being narrower, with borders distantly and 
obtusely serrulate; medial nerve, broad, narrowly furrowed ; secondary 
veins in right angle to the medial one, thick at the base, much thinner 
in the middle, where they branch, anastomosing with divisions of the 
upper and lower veins, and also with shorter intermediate ones, which 
separate them. Nearer to the borders the nervation becomes indistinct. 
It is distantly related to Myrica BanlcsicvfoUa^ Ung-j ^^s figured Fl. Alas., 
PI. ii, Fig. li. 

CoRYLUS McQuARRYi, Hccr. Mixed with fragments of Poimhis leuco- 
phyllay Ung. 

QuEKCUS Ellisiana, sp. nov. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, pointed, or 
obtusely pointed ; round cuneate at base, with borders marked with short, 
distant angular teeth becoming obtuse toward the point ; medial nerve 
deeply marked; secondary veins, eight to ten pairs, emerging at an open 
angle, 55°, curving in ascending to the borders and entering the teeth, 
The lowest pair branch once or twice downward ; the second pair has 
sometimes one inferior branch near its point; all the other veins are sim- 
I)le; nervilles, undistinct, crossing the veins at right angles. This spe- 
cies is allied to Qiiercus Fseudo-alnus, Etting., (Bil., Fl.,) which has more 
deeply marked and more acute teeth, with secondary veins at a more 
acute angle of divergence and more distant. 

QuERCUS Pealei, sp. nov. A small coriaceous, short, petioled leaf, 
IJ inches long, ovate in outline, cuneate and entire to the petiole, more 
abruptly narrowed from above the middle into an obtuse point, and 
there obtusely and distantly crenate ; medial nerve deeply marked, 
like the secondary veins ; four to five pairs in acute angle, (30°,) curving 
in going to the borders, where they enter the teeth, except the lowest 
l)air, which curves upward, follows the borders, and unites by ramifica- 
tion with branches of the second pair. It is a fine species, somewhat 
like Qiierctts fagifoUa^ Gop])., (Schossnitz, FL, p. 14, PI. vi, esi>ecially 
Fig. y,) from which it difi'ers by the cuneate rounded base of the leaves, 
the more deeply marked teeth, and more curved secondary veins. 

QuERCUS GoDETi, Heer. Two specimens of leaves, with all the 
characters of this species, as described by Heer, (Fl. Ter. Helv., II, 
1^. 50,) especially resembling PI. cli, Fig. II. The borders of the leaves 
appear only irregularly serrulate, and not doubly so, as nmrked in the 
figure ; but the coarseness of the stone obliterates the details. By the 
borders, unequal at the base, and by the nervation, these leaves, like 
those of Europe, seem referable to Juglans. The areolation is undis- 

QuERCUS Laharpi, Gaud., (Fl. Ital., 2 Mem., PI. iii. Fig. 5, 10.) The 
leaves referable to this species differ only from it by their smooth 
surface, and the secondary veins, more numerous, sixteen pairs at least, 
nearer to each other, and more curved in passing out to the borders'. 
According to the author the surface of the leaves of his species is 



rugose, which is not the case in ours. However, Professor Heer has 
in his Arctic Flora figured this species, (II, p. 472, PI. xlix, Fig. 2-4,) 
without mentioning the rugosity of surface, and with form of leaves, 
dentation, and nervation of exactly the same characters as in our si)eci- 
mens. It is very probably the same. 

Ficus tili^^:folia, Al.'^Br. Obscure fragments. 

Sassafras, species. Kepresented only by a single specimen of the 
lower part of a leaf. The lateral veins branch at a distance from their 
base, and there is no trace of tertiary nervation or areolation. These 
are mere negative characters, and the only ones agreeing with those 
of Sassafras Ferretianum, Mass., a species which is restored by 
Heer, from fragments of Greenland, in Fl. Arc, II, p. 474, PI. 1, Fig. 2. 
Ours differs by the borders and the lateral veins diverging from the 
petiole and from the medial nerve in an angle of GO^, doubly as broad 
as the angle of divergence in the species from Greenland. I have no 
access to Massalongo's description and figure of his species, but from 
Gaudin, who has the same species published in Fl. Ital., H, p. 50, PI. 10, 
Fig. 8, ours is far different, especially by the total absence of secondary, 
horizontal veins, lower than the fork of tlie primary veins, and also of 
the reticulation, generally so well marked in leaves of this genus. 

CiNNAMOMUM ScHEUZERi, Hcer, (Fl. Ter. Helv., p. 85.) Tbis spe- 
cies is represented in its various forms by a number of specimens, even 
in its marked variety figured loc. cif.^ PI. xciii. Fig. 2, 3, 4. 

Andromeda Grayana, Heer, (Vancouver Fl., p. 7, PI. i. Fig. 7-9.) 
The same can be said of this species as of the former. It is repre- 
sented in the specimens by such a large number of fragments of its 
various parts and of various sizes that it is not possible to doubt iden- 
tity. Some of our fragments are still larger than Fig. 9, loc. cit. 

Andromeda reticulata, (?) Etting., (in Heer, Bait. Fl., p. 3G, PI. xxvi. 
Fig. 5-9.) Two lanceolate leaves of thick, leathery texture, tapering 
to the petiole, with a broad, half-round medial nerve, and obsolete, 
secondary veins at an acute angle, like those of A. Orayana, curving 
along the borders. The undistinct reticulation appears to be as figured 
by Heer ; but this appearance may be due to the coarseness of the 
stone. By their form and the direction of the secondary veins the 
leaves resemble A. Grayana, differing, however, evidently by the thick- 
ness of the medial nerve. Both these leaves are larger than those fig- 
ured in the Baltic Flora, being about 3 millimeters broader. 

JuGLANS RUGOSA, (?) Lsqx.j OoRNUS ACUMINATA, (?) Newby. The 
same remark is applied to this leaf as in p. 294 to Juglan^s Rhamnoides. ' 

Lyriodendron, species. Also represented by one fragment, the 
lower half of a leaf. The base is at first obliquely descending to the 
l^etiole, and then, curving abruptly downward, becomes decurrent upon 
it in a short border ; leaf of thick texture, with broad medial nerve ; 
secondary veins and nervilles stronglj^ marked. In his Fl. Arc, Pro- 
fessor Heer has figured, without description and specification, (I, PI. xxvi, 
Fig. 7 hj) from Iceland, part of a leaf of Lyriodendron^ of same size, 
differing only from ours by the not decurrent base. 

Ehamnus rectinervis, Heer. A single specimen of a whole leaf. 
Ko difference. See above (p. 295) remarks on the same species. 

JuGLANS DENTICULATA, Heer. (Fl. Arc, II, p. 483, PI. Ivi, Figs. 6-9.) 
Leaves lanceolate rounded to the petiole (broken,) with undulate 
borders, denticulate near the point; secondary veins much curved, espe- 
cially' toward the base of the leaf, the end running close to the borders, 
numerous, 12 pairs or more. Except that this leaf is narrower, nearly 
linear, or with borders parallel in the middle, it does not differ from 
the Greenland form. 



19. From High Eidge, about Ten Miles West of Hot Springs. 

Hard, yellow, metamorpliic sliale, line-gTainecI, and hard as silex; lias 
only fragments of Cinnamomum Scheuzerij Heer j and Ficiis tilictfoUaj Al. 

20. Near Yellowstone Lake, among Basaltic Eocks. 

Same kind of stone as the former, and harder, if possible. 

Ehamnus rectinervis, Heer. Many specimens, some of which, on 
account of their slightly more curved secondary veins and entire borders 
at and near the point, might be referable to Bhamnus Uridanij Heer, as 
figured in Fl. Arc, PI. xix. Fig. 7a. In our specimens, however, the 
veins are more curved along the borders. 

Ficus TiLi^FOLiA, Al. Br. The mere skeleton of a leaf, the primary 
nerves only being preserved. 

POPULUS Balsamoides, (!) Gopp. A fragment, the upper part of a 
leaf which appears to comi^lete the figure in Heer's Fl. Alas., PI. ii. 
Fig. 3. 

Equisetum limosum, Lin. Stem narrow, 4 millimeters broad, undu- 
lately 10-ribbed, marked with sheathed articulations 10 millimeters dis- 
tant ; sheaths short, brown-colored, fringed with lanceolate acute points. 
The color of the sheaths may depend from the presence of oxide of iron. 
It is, however, remarkable that all the sheaths and these parts of the plant 
only have the same color as in JS. limosum of our time. The form of 
the divisions of the sheaths and their length are not quite distinct, but 
appear as in the living species, short, rigid, appressed, acute, brown 
teeth. I consider it as identical. 

Fragments of CyperiteSj analogous to Cyperiis angustior, Heer. 

21. Three Miles above Spring Canon. 

A kind of very hard, metamorphic, shaly limestone, with numerous 
broken and badl}^ preserved fragments of plants, a few of which are 

Sequoia Eeichenbachi, ( Heer, (Fl. Arc, I, p. 83, PL xliii. Figs. 
Id, 2Z>, 5a.) Branches and branchlets bearing linear-lanceolate, narrow 
long leaves, sharply pointed, decurring upon the branches by an 
enlarged base, marked by a medial nerve, open at first, but turning 
upward near the point, or falcately curved. Upon young branchlets the 
leaves are merely oblique and straight. Upon larger branches they are 
open and curved, only seen at intervals, the space between them being 
marked by broad, obovate, abruptly pointed, and nerved scars of scales 
or leaves. There is no trace of cone or of any other remains referable 
to conifers. It much resembles ;S'. Reichenhachi, Heer, loc. cit, differing, 
however, by its diminutive size, the leaves, branches, and scales being 
at least twice narrower than in the specimens figured b^^ Heer from the